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Full text of "WOMEN IN"

- H A TO Z OF^WOMEN ^ - 

A TO Z OF 

Women in 
World 
History 




ERIKA KUHLMAN 







A TO Z OF'VOMEN 




A TO Z OF 

Women in 
World History 



ERIKA KUHLMAN 



Facts On File, Inc. 



A to Z of Women in World History 

Copyright © 2002 Erika Kuhlman 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, 
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval 
systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact: 

Facts On File, Inc. 

An imprint of Infobase Publishing 

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New York NY 10001 

ISBN-10: 0-8160-4334-5 
ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-4334-7 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in- Publication Data 

Kuhlman, Erika A., 1961- 

A to Z of women in world history / Erika Kuhlman. 

p. cm. 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-8160-4334-5 
1. Women — Biography — Dictionaries. I. Title. 

CT3202.K84 2002 

920.72— dc21 2001054327 

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This book is printed on acid-free paper. 



CONTENTS 



Acknowledgments v 
Introduction vii 
Alphabetical List of Entries ix 



1 Adventurers and Athletes 1 

2 Amazons, Heroines, and Military 
Leaders 29 

3 Business Leaders and Lawyers 57 

4 Fashion Designers and Trendsetters 

5 Journalists, Diarists, and Historians 

6 Performers 145 

7 Political Activists 171 



8 Religious Leaders 203 

9 Rulers 235 

10 Scholars and Educators 265 

1 1 Science and Health Practitioners 

12 Visual Artists 327 

13 Women's Rights Activists 351 

14 Writers 385 



295 



87 Bibliography 417 

115 Entries by Country of Birth 419 

Entries by Year of Birth 423 
426 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



I would like to thank my husband, Kevin Marsh, whose devotion 
made this book possible. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Frost- 
Knappman at New England Publishing Associates, my editor at Facts 
On File, Claudia Schaab, and my friend and colleague Anar Imin for 
her research assistance. 



INTRODUCTION 



This book is about extraordinary women through- 
out human history whose lives were shaped less by 
having been born women, as Simone de Beauvoir put 
it in her revolutionary book The Second Sex, than by 
having been made into women by the diverse cultures 
in which they lived. As women and men from different 
places and cultures migrated and interacted with each 
other, they created the key forces driving human his- 
tory: patriarchy, religious domination, capitalism, 
industrialization, imperialism, nationalism, socialism, 
democracy, feminism, and globalization, each of 
which affected the culturally learned gender roles and 
stereotypes predominant in most of the world's soci- 
eties. Each of the women featured in A to Z of Women 
in World History is considered within the particular 
cultural and historical milieu of which she was a part. 
The intertwining of three contemporary subfields of 
history — world history, women's history, and gender 
history — forms the intellectual web underlying the 
research and writing of this book. 

Taking cultural interaction as the key force in 
shaping world history, each chapter of A to Z of 
Women in World History represents a category of 
human achievement — from business to art to sci- 
ence — in which each individual woman made her 
mark and influenced other women from diverse cul- 
tures and different historical periods pursuing the 
same goals. Nineteenth-century Chinese revolution- 
ary Qiu Jin, for example, modeled her life on the 
15th-century French Christian martyr Joan of Arc. 



Many entries include cross-references to help readers 
understand such cultural borrowing within and 
across chapters. There is also an alphabetical list of 
entries in the book's front matter for easy reference. 

As men have traditionally dominated each of the 
categories of human achievement, nearly all these 
women faced formidable obstacles — in the form of 
gender, religious, class, and/or racial discrimina- 
tion — in the paths of their pursuits. As world histo- 
rian Peter N. Stears noted in Gender and World 
History, gender inequality tended to increase across 
cultures as economic, political, and social institutions 
became more complex. Men, he wrote, attempted to 
reduce women's roles in society to a dependent 
domesticity. The women whose lives have been writ- 
ten about in this book amply illustrate that those 
rigid gender roles were much more permeable than 
they — or we — had been led to believe. 

Women warriors are among those who crossed the 
boundary of proper womanhood with the most vehe- 
mence. Born to German parents in Argentina, 
Tamara Bunke's multicultural heritage, combined 
with her devotion to socialism, led to her involve- 
ment in Che Guevara's failed revolution in Bolivia in 
the 1 960s. Working first as a German/Spanish inter- 
preter and then as an undercover agent, Bunke ulti- 
mately hoisted an M-l rifle to her shoulder to force 
her dreamed-of revolution. She and her comrades 
were betrayed by the Bolivian peasants they hoped to 
help and then ambushed and butchered by Bolivian 



VII 



ATO Z OF WOMEN IN WORLD HISTORY 



soldiers in 1967. Bunke's story not only illustrates 
that women heeded the call to revolution as ardently 
as their male counterparts but also the futility of one 
society forcing social change upon another. 

Another woman patriot, U.S. First Lady Dolley 
Madison, found subtler, more traditionally feminine 
ways to affect the politics of war and peace. A Wash- 
ington, D.C., socialite, Madison hosted White 
House parties where U.S. congressmen, presidents, 
and bureaucrats could informally but persuasively 
chat about affairs of the day and thereby swing the 
political pendulum. When Mrs. Madison sidled over 
to the hawkish U.S. congressman Henry Clay and 
offered him a pinch of her snuff during one of her 
famous soirees in the spring of 1812, Washington's 
political powerhouses knew that Madison's husband, 
President James Madison, was to wage war against 
Britain. While Washington, D.C., burned during the 
War of 1812, war hero Madison defended her 
beloved White House from encroaching British 
troops by packing up precious artifacts and sending 
them to the Bank of Maryland, thereby saving the 
national home from utter destruction. 

Other women warriors were forced to disguise 
their gender in order to join the ranks of the official 
military. In a variety of human endeavors, women 
have had to play at being a man if they wanted recog- 
nition of their talents. Sophie Germain, a French 
mathematician, could not enroll at Ecole Polytech- 
nique in Paris because she was a woman. So she put a 
masculine name at the top of a math problem she 
completed and asked a male friend to hand in the 
assignment for her, thereby forcing the professor to 
examine her mathematical proofs. Germain passed 
the professor's scrutiny; she went on to help found 
the study of mathematical physics. 

Writer Harriet Jacobs broke political, social, and 
literary boundaries through her autobiography, 



Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, in which she 
revealed the double-edged sword of being a female 
slave in the pre-Civil War United States. Not only 
was she condemned to a life of servitude by virtue of 
her birth to an enslaved mother, but because she 
was female, she suffered a constant onslaught of sex- 
ual hounding by her licentious master. Incidents in 
the Life of a Slave Girl, the foremost slave narrative 
written by a woman, overturned the so-called senti- 
mental novels popular in Jacobs's day by equating 
women's happiness not with marriage but with 
independence. 

Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi offered his- 
tory an eyeful of feminine independence when she 
painted Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting. Hin- 
dered in her early career by an art teacher who raped 
her, Gentileschi later gained a reputation as a 
respectable artist of biblical allegory. Male Renais- 
sance painters frequently painted themselves being 
guided by an ethereal, feminine Allegory of Painting 
hovering over their canvasses. But because she was a 
woman, Gentileschi could paint herself as the 
embodiment of the Allegory of Painting, guiding 
her own craft. Although in her own time Gen- 
tileschi did not receive the kudos she deserved, 
today many art historians consider her the artistic 
genius of the 17th century. 

A to Z of Women in World History is an attempt to 
reveal not only the distinction of the women it cov- 
ers but also the ingenious ways in which women 
skirted the numerous barriers society placed in their 
paths. Each entry presents the essential facts of each 
woman's life within her unique historical context. 
Taken collectively, A to Z of Women in World History 
paints a broad image of women (and womanhood) 
as movers and shapers of world history, without 
whom the historical glass would be much more than 
half empty. 



VII 



ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ENTRIES 



Adivar, Halide 172 
Agnodike 296 
Aidoo, Ama Ata 386 
Aishah 204 
Allende, Isabel 387 
Andre, Valerie 297 
Angelou, Maya 389 
Anthony, Susan B. 352 
Apostoloy, Electra 173 
Aquino, Corazon 236 
Arendt, Hannah 266 
Argentinita, La 146 
Armand, Inessa 354 
Artemisia I 30 
Ashton-Warner, Sylvia 267 
Atwood, Margaret 390 
Aung San Suu Kyi 175 
Aylward, Gladys 205 
Ba, Mariama 391 
Bach, Anna Magdalena 147 
Bai, Lakshmi 31 
Baker, Josephine 148 
Bandaranaike, Sirimavo 237 
Barrios de Chungara, 

Domitila 356 
Bassi, Laura 298 
Beale, Dorothea 268 
Beaufort, Margaret 238 
Beauvoir, Simone de 270 
Beech, Olive 58 



Behn, Aphra 393 
Benetton, Giuliana 59 
Bernhardt, Sarah 150 
Bernstein, Aline 328 
Bhutto, Benazir 240 
Bishop, Hazel 60 
Blackwell, Elizabeth 300 
Blankers-Koen, Fanny 2 
Bloomer, Amelia 88 
Blunt, Anne 3 
Bly, Nellie 116 
Bocanegra, Gertrudis 32 
Bol Poel, Martha 357 
Bonney, Anne 34 
Borgia, Lucrezia 241 
Bose, Abala 271 
Bouboulina, Laskarina 35 
Boudicca 36 
Bouhired, Djamila 176 
Boulanger, Nadia 151 
Boupacha, Djamila 37 
Bourgeois, Louyse 301 
Bourke-White, Margaret 117 
Bradwell, Myra 61 
Bremer, Fredrika 359 
Brigid, St. 206 
Buck, Pearl S. 394 
Bunke, Tamara 39 
Butcher, Susan 4 
Carreno, Teresa 152 



Carson, Rachel 303 

Cassatt, Mary 329 

Catherine II 243 

Chanel, Coco 89 

Child, Julia 91 

Cho Wha Soon 207 

Christine de Pizan 272 

Cleopatra VII 245 

Clicquot, Veuve 63 

Cole, Johnnetta 274 

Comnena, Anna 119 

Cruz, Sor Juana Ines de la 360 

Cunitz, Maria 304 

Curie, Marie 305 

Darling, Grace 41 

David-Neel, Alexandra 5 

Davies, Arabella Jenkinson 120 

Deborah 42 

Dickinson, Emily 396 

Ding Ling 361 

Eddy, Mary Baker 209 

Egeria 121 

Eliot, George 398 

Elizabeth I 247 

Emecheta, Buchi 400 

Endo Hatsuko 92 

Eng, Melinda 94 

Evert, Chris 7 

Fallaci, Oriana 122 

Fatima 211 



IX 



ATO Z OF WOMEN IN WORLD HISTORY 



Figueroa, Ana 363 
Fini, Leonor 330 
Frank, Anne 124 
Franklin, Aretha 1 54 
Franklin, Rosalind 307 
Freud, Anna 309 
Frith, Mary 8 
Gandhi, Indira 248 
Gellhorn, Martha 125 
Gentileschi, Artemisia 331 
Gerin-Lajoie, Marie 65 
Germain, Sophie 275 
Goegg, Marie 366 
Goldman, Emma 177 
Goodall, Jane 310 
Graham, Martha 155 
Green, Hetty 66 
Guggenheim, Peggy 95 
Hadewijch of Antwerp 212 
Hani Motoko 276 
Hatshepsut 250 
Hayashi Fumiko 401 
He Xiangning 367 
Head, Bessie 127 
Henie, Sonja 9 
Herrade of Landsberg 333 
Hildegard von Bingen 213 
Hiratsuka Raicho 369 
Hsi Kai Ching 43 
Hypatia 278 
Ichikawa Fusae 364 
Isabella I 252 
Jabavu, Noni 129 
Jacobs, Aletta 370 
Jacobs, Harriet A. 130 
Jahan, Nur 254 
James, Naomi 1 1 
Jemison, Mae 312 
Jinnah, Fatima 371 
Joan of Arc AA 
Joan, Pope 215 
Kadeer, Rebiya 68 
Kahlo, Frida 334 
Kairi, Evanthia 279 
Kanawa, Kiri Te 156 



Kartini, Adjeng 280 
Kawakubo Rei 96 
Kelly, Petra 179 
Kempe, Margery 216 
al-Khansa 402 
Kingston, Maxine Hong 404 
Kollwitz, Kathe 336 
Kuan Tao-sheng 337 
Kyo Machiko 97 
Lange, Dorothea 338 
Langer, Susanne 282 
Lee, Ann 217 
L'Epine, Margherita de 157 
Lin, Maya 340 
Lind, Jenny 159 
Lockwood, Belva 69 
Lukens, Rebecca 71 
Luxemburg, Rosa 181 
Maathai, Wangari Muta 3 1 3 
Macaulay, Catharine 

Sawbridge 132 
Madikizela-Mandela, 

Winnie 182 
Madison, Dolley 99 
Magona, Sindiwe 283 
Mahaprajapati 219 
Mallet, Elizabeth 1 33 
Mamaea, Julia 255 
Mankiller, Wilma 257 
Marcos, Imelda 101 
Maria the Jewess 315 
Markham, Beryl 12 
Mata Hari 13 
McAlisky, Bernadette 184 
McClintock, Barbara 316 
Mead, Margaret 317 
Meer, Fatima 185 
Meir, Golda 258 
Menchu, Rigoberta 186 
Mirabai 221 
Mistral, Gabriela 405 
Montessori, Maria 285 
Morata, Olympia 286 
Morrell, Lady Ottoline 102 
Moses, Grandma 342 



Murasaki Shikibu 406 

Naidu, Sarojini 188 

Nation, Carry 189 

Nevelson, Louise 343 

Ngoyi, Lilian 191 

Nguyen Thi Binh 193 

Nhongo, Teurai Ropa 47 

Nightingale, Florence 320 

O'Connor, Sandra Day 72 

Oduyoye, Mercy Amba 222 

Okamoto Ayako 1 5 

O'Keeffe, Georgia 345 

Okuni 160 

Okwei, Omu 75 

Olympe de Gouges 373 

Onassis, Jackie 104 

Ovington, Mary White 194 

Palatinate, Madame 408 

Parks, Rosa 196 

Pavlova, Anna 162 

Pedersen, Helga 76 

Peron, Evita 260 

Pitcher, Molly 48 

Plamnikova, Franciska 375 

Pompadour, Madame de 106 

Post, Emily 107 

Potter, Beatrix 346 

Primus, Pearl 163 

Qiujin 51 

Ramphele, Mamphela 321 

Ransome-Kuti, Funmilayo 376 

Ratia, Armi 109 

Rau, Dhanvanthi Rama 288 

Razia, Sultana 52 

Reibey, Mary 77 

Rodnina, Irina 16 

Roosevelt, Eleanor 289 

Rudolph, Wilma 18 

Saadawi, Nawal el 377 

Sacagawea 19 

Sampson Gannet, Deborah 53 

Sappho 409 

Schumann, Clara Wieck 165 

Seacole, Mary 323 

Seton, Elizabeth 224 



ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ENTRIES 



Sha'rawi, Huda 379 
Shaw, Flora 135 
Slessor, Mary 225 
Sontag, Susan 136 
Sorabji, Cornelia 79 
Stael, Madame de 138 
Stanhope, Hester 21 
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady 
Stark, Freya 22 
Stein, Edith 227 
Tabei Junko 24 
Teresa of Avila 229 
Teresa, Mother 231 



352 



Tereshkova, Valentina 25 
Terry, Ellen 166 
Tescon, Trinidad 54 
Thatcher, Margaret 261 
Trivulzio, Cristina 139 
Trubnikova, Mariya 380 
Truth, Sojourner 198 
Tuchman, Barbara 141 
Tussaud, Madame 348 
Undset, Sigrid 410 
Walker, Madame C. J. 80 
Wertmuller, Tina 349 
West, Mae 168 



Wheatley, Phillis 412 
Willard, Frances 291 
Winfrey, Oprah 82 
Wolfe, Elsie de 110 
Wollstonecraft, Mary 382 
Woodhull, Victoria 83 
Xiang Jingyu 200 
Xide Xie 324 
Yourcenar, Marguerite 414 
Zaharias, Babe Didrikson 27 
Zhang Ruifang 111 
Zheng Xiaoying 169 



XI 



Adventurers and Athletes 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



A BLANKERS-KOEN, FANNY (Francina 
Elsje Koen, Francina Blankers-Koen) 

(1918- ) Dutch track and field athlete 

Anger can be a forceful motivating factor, as runner 
Fanny Blankers-Koen could tell you. When she told 
friends and acquaintances that she was training for 
the 1 948 Olympics in London, they told her that at 
the age of 30, she was too old. Even a Dutch newspa- 
per reporter opined that her age would be too great a 
handicap to overcome. Others, less tactful, blurted 
out that she should be at home taking care of her 
young children. The comments that her ambitions 
evoked became so aggravating that Blankers-Koen 
trained all the harder. 

And she won, becoming the first and only woman 
to win four gold medals in track and field at a single 
Olympics (Wilma RUDOLPH was the first African- 
American woman to win three Olympic gold medals 
in 1960). Blankers-Koen came in first in the 100- 
meter race, the 200-meter race, and the 80-meter 
hurdles. Finally, she anchored (ran the final leg) of 
the 100-meter relay race and brought home the gold 
for her team and for Holland. (She might have won 
six gold medals — she held world's records in long 
jump and high jump — but in 1948 athletes could 
only compete in four events.) You can bet that her 
Dutch compatriots were glad that Mrs. Blankers- 
Koen chose not to take their advice. 

Blankers-Koen was born Francina Elsje Koen in 
Amsterdam, Netherlands, on April 26, 1918. Her 
family participated in several kinds of sports: swim- 
ming, skating, and tennis. When she turned six, 
Francina joined the local sports club, where she 
improved her innate swimming and running abilities. 
Track coaches began working with her at the age of 17. 

Disappointment followed the first competitive race 
that she ran in 1935 in Groningen, Netherlands: she 
did not place. Not ready to give up, however, she 
defeated the Dutch national champion in the 800- 
meter race the following month. Jan Blankers, track 
coach for the Dutch team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, 
watched Francina Koen carefully and saw a potential 
jumper and sprinter. He invited her to be on the Dutch 
team in Berlin, where, at age 18, she finished in a tie for 



sixth place in the high jump and fifth as a member of 
the Dutch women's 100-meter relay race team. Jan 
Blankers and Fanny Koen married in 1940. 

World War II (1939-45) interrupted Blankers- 
Koen's Olympic dreams; the games were cancelled in 
1940 and 1944. The feisty competitor continued to 
train, however, even during Nazi occupation of Hol- 
land (1940—45), taking time off only to give birth to 
her two children. In 1946, when European track and 
field competition resumed in Oslo, Blankers-Koen 
still competed even though, having given birth to her 
daughter seven months previously, she was not in 
mint condition. Nonetheless, she won the 80-meter 
hurdles, anchored the gold medal-winning 100-meter 
relay team, and took fourth place in high jump. 

In 1948, the Olympic Games resumed in Lon- 
don. Blankers-Koen knew that age 30 was consid- 
ered too old to compete effectively. And, in truth, 
she knew that if she made the Olympic team, she 
would be away from her young children (though 
only for a short time), and that she would miss 
them. But with the help of her husband, who coaxed 
her out of her tearful misgivings at leaving her chil- 
dren behind, she blazed a trail to victory. Her first 
triumph came on August 2, when her powerful 
body (Blankers-Koen stood five feet ten inches and 
weighed 145 pounds) propelled her down a muddy 
track to win the 100-meter race in 11.9 seconds. 
The following day, she left her competitors behind 
to win the 80-meter hurdles in a world record- 
breaking 11.2 seconds. Next, she placed first in the 
200-meter race, establishing a new Olympic record 
of 24.3 seconds. Chosen again to be the anchor in 
the women's relay race team, she charged past the 
competition to grab the gold for Holland. 

Her Dutch fans welcomed her home in style, fill- 
ing her house with flowers and cakes. A group of peo- 
ple presented her with a bicycle so she would not have 
to run so much! Later that year, the Associated Press 
named her Female Athlete of the Year. Nicknamed the 
Flying Dutch Housewife, Blankers-Koen continued 
to compete after her triumphs in London, winning 
several European competitions. She retired from com- 
petitive running in 1955, serving as manager of Hol- 
land's national team at the 1968 Mexico City 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



Olympics. In 1980, Blankers-Koen was inducted into 
the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. 

Further Reading 

100 Years of Olympic Glory. Produced by Cappy Produc- 
tions, Inc. 180 minutes. Atlanta: Turner Home Enter- 
tainment, 1996. Two videocassettes. 

Will- Weber, Mark. "Victory Lap," Runners' "World (Novem- 
ber 1998): 98-99. 

Woolum, Janet. Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are 
and How They Influenced Sports in America. Phoenix: 
Oryx Press, 1998. 



A BLUNT, ANNE (Lady Anne Isabella 
Noel Blunt) 

(1837—1917) British traveler and writer 

Traveler, adventurer, and writer Anne Blunt, 
described by her family as having "lots of brains," 
relied heavily upon her wits during her odyssey to 
faraway and often dangerous places. On one occa- 
sion, while she and her husband Wilfrid Scawen 
Blunt (1840—1922) were exploring the central Ara- 
bian desert, they were resting some distance away 
from their caravan. An unfriendly horseman rode up; 
Wilfrid scrambled onto his horse, but Anne, ham- 
pered by a wrenched ankle, could not scamper so eas- 
ily on the soft sand. The horseman knocked her over 
with his spear and, grabbing Anne's unloaded gun, 
thrashed Wilfrid over the head. 

"I am under your protection!" cried Anne, quickly 
remembering the accepted form of surrender in the 
Bedouin desert. Surprised that his captors were Euro- 
pean, and even more shocked at the sight of a 
woman, the horseman let down his guard; soon, the 
three returned to the caravan, and all was peaceful 
again under the hushed desert sky. 

The Blunts traveled light. They forsook the 
tables and chairs, the white linens and silverware, 
and rubber bathtubs common among other 19th- 
century British travelers. They were equally unham- 
pered by the prejudice against desert dwellers that 
kept their compatriots from living among the 
Bedouins. Like other Europeans, the Blunts traveled 
for the sake of experience, to be sure, but they also 



traveled for the sake of knowledge that they 
expected to gain by sharing a meager desert exis- 
tence with the Bedouins. 

Lady Anne was born on September 27, 1837, to 
the first earl of Lovelace and the Honorable Ada 
Augusta Byron (the daughter of the English poet 
Lord Byron). She grew up surrounded by the 
wealth and comfort she would one day shirk. Her 
marriage to Wilfrid Blunt produced one son, who 
died four days after birth, and one daughter. In 
1872, Wilfrid inherited his brother's estate in Crab- 
bet Park, Sussex. A few years later, Blunt resigned 
his diplomatic post, and the couple began prepar- 
ing for their journey by practicing their Arabic and 
studying maps of the Middle East. They were 
alarmed, Anne Blunt recalled, that the Royal Geo- 
graphic Society's most recent map was dated 1836. 
Thus, with little information but a lot of courage, 
they departed for the cradle of civilization. Over 
land and sea, they arrived in Alexandretta, Turkey, 
and from there, they traveled to Aleppo, Syria. In 
Aleppo, they were held up by torrents of rain. They 
used their time wisely, however, by engaging the 
British consul, Lord Skene, who had lived in the 
Middle East for decades. Skene instructed the cou- 
ple about Bedouin life and culture. The Shammar 
Bedouins, he explained, controlled the left bank of 
the Euphrates River, while the Anezeh nomads 
owned the right bank. These two tribes fought each 
other for supremacy. Skene hinted that he was on 
good terms with the Anezeh and could send a letter 
of introduction to their sheik, or leader. The Blunts 
eagerly sought such a letter, since they had planned 
on joining the Anezeh for their migration to Nejd, 
or the central Arabian desert. 

The Blunts' journey into the unknown began in 
January 1878. Their small caravan consisted of about 
15 people, including servants and guides. They 
loaded camels with a sandwich made of an oilskin 
tarp, a carpet, an eiderdown quilt, another carpet, 
and an oilskin tarp on top; the couple would make 
their bed in between these layers. They brought 
plenty of food with them, but, according to Anne 
Blunt, they never refused any food they were given by 
the Bedouins, including roasted grasshopper and 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



wild hyena meat. All their belongings, they realized, 
would have to be surrendered in case of a ghazu, or 
raiding party: it was best not to become too attached. 
"We are starting," admitted Blunt, "rather like babes 
in the wood, on an adventure whose importance we 
were unable to rate." 

Once they came upon the Bedouin camps, they 
knew what to do; Skene had instructed them to enter 
the largest tent, throw open the flap, and announce 
loudly, "Salaam aleykoum." To which the inhabitants 
would respond likewise. Camel saddles were brought 
in from without, and the Blunts were invited to a 
Bedouin feast. 

The Blunts finally found Jedaan, head of the 
Anezeh. Wilfrid and Jedaan arranged for the Blunts 
to accompany the Anezeh the following April to the 
Nejd. The trip covered more than a thousand miles, 
beginning near Damascus, Syria. They crossed the 
Nefud River and then traversed across 200 miles of 
desert sand, to reach Jebel Shammar, one of the main 
settlements in Arabia. Anne Blunts account of this 
journey, A Pilgrimage to Nejd: The Cradle of the Arab 
Race, was published in 1881. 

The Blunts had planned on returning to England 
after their journey in the Arabian desert, but Wilfrid 
had been persuaded to make a report to the British 
government on the feasibility of a transnational rail- 
road through the Indian subcontinent. His experiences 
in India led "Wilfrid Blunt to publicly disapprove of his 
nation's treatment and attitudes toward other races, 
and of British imperialism. After the Indian trip, the 
couple purchased a 40-acre homestead, called Sheik 
Odeyd, near Cairo, Egypt, where they spent their win- 
ters, gardening and collaborating on translations of 
Arabic literature. Anne Blunt died on December 15, 
1917, in Egypt. 

Further Reading 

Assad, Thomas J. Three Victorian Travelers: Burton, Blunt, 

and Doughty. London: Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1964. 
Blunt, Anne. A Pilgrimage to Nejd: The Cradle of the Arab 

Race. London: Cass, 1968. 
Tinling, Marion. Women into the Unknown: A Sourcebook 

on Women Explorers and Travelers. Westport, Conn.: 

Greenwood Press, 1989. 



BUTCHER, SUSAN 

(1954- ) Am eric an sled c 



■ racer 



From Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, Susan Butcher 
drives her sled through below-freezing temperatures 
and howling winds when she competes in the Iditarod 
sled dog race. She became a symbol of feminine 
strength and endurance when she broke the record for 
the fastest completion time in 1985. Just completing 
the Iditarod takes tremendous courage and know-how 
on the part of mushers (sled dog drivers). Gauging 
sudden weather changes can save not only the musher's 
life but those of her sled dogs as well. Understanding 
wildlife behavior helps, too. Butcher once had to 
defend herself and her dogs from a pregnant moose by 
wielding an axe (eventually, the animal was felled by 
the bullet of one of Butcher's competitors in the race, 
after the cow had injured some of Butcher's dogs). 

Butcher has encountered and endured every imagi- 
nable threat in Alaska's wilderness. Still, she underplays 
the importance of being the second woman to win an 
Iditarod race (Libby Riddles was the first woman Idi- 
tarod winner in 1986 when Butcher's injured dogs — 
the result of the moose attack — forced her to drop out 
of the race). "My goal was never to be the first woman 
or the best woman," she told a Women's Sports and Fit- 
ness reporter in 1987. "It was to be the best sled-dog 
racer." Butcher does believe, however, that women have 
greater potential for endurance than men do and 
stronger tolerance for pain and discomfort. 

Susan Butcher was born on December 26, 1954, 
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Agnes 
Butcher, a psychiatric social worker, and Charlie 
Butcher, chief executive officer of the family's chemi- 
cal products company. Susan Butcher grew up feeling 
alienated from urban life. "I hate the city," she wrote 
when she was in the fourth grade, "because society is 
ruining the earth for animals." Both Susan and her 
sister enjoyed spending summers in Maine helping 
their father restore old sailboats. Her pet dog had 
been her constant companion since the age of four. 

In addition to her love of animals, Butcher excelled 
in sports of all kinds while growing up. In 1972, she 
moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she took a job as a 
veterinary's assistant. Her stay in Boulder only lasted 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



three years, however. On the one hand, Colorado 
introduced her to the sport of sled dog racing, in 
which she could combine her athletic prowess with her 
affection for dogs. On the other hand, her life in Boul- 
der became disappointing when a car hit one of her 
dogs, and the other pet was stolen. In 1975, she moved 
to Fairbanks, Alaska, where the sled dog trails were in 
closer proximity. She bought a cabin in the Wrangell 
Mountains, where she lived in seclusion for two years 
(other than summers, when she worked as a midwife 
on a musk ox farm). In 1977, she met Joe Redington, 
Sr., organizer of the Iditarod race. Redington helped 
her secure sponsors for entering the race. The follow- 
ing year, she was ready to race for money. The stakes 
are high: $50,000 in prize money goes to the winner. 

The Iditarod race begins during the first week of 
March. Mushers race for 1,157 miles, beginning in 
Anchorage and ending in Nome. Competitors must 
cross the frozen Bering Sea, iced-over rivers, and two 
mountain ranges. Temperatures can be as low as 50 
degrees below zero, and winds as high as 140 miles 
per hour. Racers must drive at least seven dogs, but 
not more than 20. Several checkpoints are established 
along the route where veterinarians check the health 
of the dogs (Butcher begins training her dogs while 
they are still puppies). In 1978, Butcher finished the 
race in 19th place, assuring her a portion of the prize 
money doled out to all racers who are among the top 
20 finishers. In 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1990, 
Butcher took first place, becoming the only woman 
to win four times. In 1990, she broke the record for 
the fastest time by completing the course in 1 1 days, 
one hour, 53 minutes, and 23 seconds. 

Susan Butcher helped popularize the sport of sled 
dog racing. She made giant strides toward exploding 
the myth of feminine weakness, while at the same time 
encouraging a nurturing, caring attitude toward the 
animals that have helped her win her prestigious titles. 
Today, Susan Butcher operates Trail Dog Kennels with 
her husband David Monson. She has been named 
Women's Sports Foundation's Professional Sports- 
woman of the year in 1987 and 1988. The Anchorage 
Times named her Sled-Dog Racer of the Decade in 
1989. The International Academy of Sports named her 
Outstanding Female Athlete of the World in 1989. 



Further Reading 

Dolan, Ellen M. Susan Butcher and the Iditarod Trail. New 

York: Walker and Co., 1993. 
Schultz, Jeff. Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome. Anchorage: 

Alaska Northwest Books, 1991. 
Woolum, Janet. Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are 

and How They Influenced Sports in America. Phoenix: 

Oryx Press, 1998. 

A DAVID-NEEL, ALEXANDRA 

(1868-1969) French/Tibetan explorer, 
musician, and Buddhist teacher 

"Adventure," wrote Alexandra David-Neel, "is my 
only reason for living." "I am a savage," she admitted 
to her husband in a letter, "I love only my tent, my 
horse, and the desert." When David-Neel journeyed 
to the Far East in 1911, she became fascinated with 
Tibet, a nearly inaccessible country situated between 
China and India. She became the first western woman 
to enter the Tibetan city of Lhasa and to interview the 
Dalai Lama, or highest Tibetan Buddhist teacher. An 
accomplished opera singer, David-Neel traveled all 
over Africa and Asia, until her marriage provided her 
with the financial ability to concentrate on her real 
desire: becoming a Buddhist lama. 

Alexandra David was born in Paris on October 24, 
1868. During her pregnancy, Alexandra's mother, 
Alexandrine Borghmans, had hoped for a boy who 
would become a Catholic bishop. Her son turned out 
to be a daughter who would become known as "Our 
Lady of Tibet." Alexandra David had been born into 
turbulent times in France. Twenty years prior to her 
birth, in 1848, France had been rocked by a revolt of 
the poorer classes, who established the Second Republic 
(1848—51). All Frenchmen were granted the vote. In 
1852, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-73) estab- 
lished the Second Empire and declared himself Emperor 
Napoleon III. Her schoolmaster father, Louis David, 
harbored republican sentiments, or the desire for a rep- 
resentative form of government, instead of a monarchy, 
or government headed by a single, hereditary ruler. 
He began publishing a republican journal but was 
forced to stop when Napoleon Bonaparte declared 
himself emperor. Louis David was exiled to Belgium 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



where he met and married Alexandrine Borghmans. 
The young Belgian woman would inherit her father's 
money upon his death, and David was penniless. 
Alexandra David described her parents' marriage as 
unhappy from the start, and disagreements between the 
couple increased with the birth of their daughter. Louis 
David wanted his child to be born in France (she was); 
Alexandrine David wanted her daughter raised as a 
Catholic (she was not). Louis David had his daughter 
secretly baptized in the Protestant faith; Alexandra 
David chose her own religious path not long afterward. 

The twists and turns Alexandra David's life took 
during her teens and 20s demonstrate her discomfort 
with a settled life. Louis and Alexandrine tried vari- 
ous means of caging their daughter, with little luck. 
At age 15, Alexandra David left for London, where 
she studied Buddhism and occultism, to her parents' 
dismay. Two years later, she left for a brief sojourn in 
Italy. Upon her return to Paris, her mother put her to 
work in a shop selling fabric for women's clothing, 
but she soon quit. She attended the Sorbonne, an 
elite institute of education, for a time but soon quit 
that, too. Her father encouraged her musical talents, 
and she attended the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, 
Belgium, refining her piano and vocal talents. From 
there, she took her first real job with the Hanoi 
Opera Company in Vietnam. 

Her choice was deliberate. "My daughter has white 
skin," said Louis David, "but a yellow soul." Alexandra 
David, along with many western European intellectu- 
als and artists, became enamored with Asian and 
African culture in the late 19th century (see MATA 
HARI, Lady Hester STANHOPE, and Beryl MARKHAM). 
Alexandra David combined her new singing career 
with her intellectual interest in Asian culture, espe- 
cially in Buddhism, and departed for points east. 

To her mother's consternation, Alexandra David 
showed much interest in men, but little desire to 
marry. While on tour in Tunis (a French colony nes- 
tled between Algeria and Libya, in North Africa), she 
met a wealthy French railroad engineer, Philippe 
Neel, who was also her distant cousin. Later, she 
declared, "we married more for mischief than affec- 
tion." As with many women of her time, Alexandra 
David-Neel made compromises when she chose mar- 



riage. She gave up her singing career to please her 
husband and conventional society (middle- and 
upper-class married women rarely had careers in the 
early 20th century). In return, she accepted the use of 
Neel's money to finance a trip to India for one year. 

There is little doubt that Philippe Neel got the 
short end of the marriage bargain. Alexandra David- 
Neel returned not in one year, but in 14 years, after 
touring Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Sikkim (a country 
in the Himalayan mountains now part of India), 
India, Nepal, Burma, French Indochina, Japan, 
Korea, China, and finally, the holy city of Lhasa. 

Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of 
the Indian sage Siddharta Gautama (563-483 B.C.E.), 
who received the title Buddha, "the enlightened one." 
Believers devote their lives to living without many 
material goods, practicing intense meditation and 
withdrawal from human desires. The religion was 
established in Tibet in the eighth century. Unique to 
Tibetan Buddhism is the notion that the Dalai (chief) 
Lama, or Grand Master, is reincarnated after death in 
the body of another human. The present Dalai Lama 
is the 14th; Alexandra David-Neel visited the 13th. 
First she became a disciple of a lama, living and study- 
ing in a Himalayan hermitage, or isolated community. 

In the early 20th century, the British, who had col- 
onized India in the mid- 19th century, tried to pene- 
trate the mountainous nation of Tibet to further trade 
and influence. Tibet remained stubbornly resistant 
and wary of outside visitors. To enter the capital of 
Tibet, the forbidden city of Lhasa, hidden away high 
atop the Himalayas, was indeed a formidable task, 
especially so for a woman traveling alone. 

But Alexandra David-Neel would not be 
deterred. She had studied the Tibetan language for 
years, and she spoke it flawlessly. Accompanied by a 
Sikkim boy, Anphur Yongden, whom she later 
adopted, she disguised herself as a beggar and 
entered the remote mountain village in 1924, trav- 
eling from the Gobi Desert of Mongolia to the 
China/Tibet border. Her book My Journey to Lhasa 
(1927) recounts her adventure. 

Alexandra David-Neel returned to France in 1925 
to write books. From 1937 to 1945, she lived in 
China and traveled in the Soviet Union. In 1946, 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



when Philippe Neel died, she returned to France to 
settle his estate. She celebrated her 100th birthday at 
her home in Digne, France, in 1968, where she died 
on September 8, 1969. 

She renewed her passport for the final time at 
age 100. 

Further Reading 

David-Neel, Alexandra. Magic and Mystery in Tibet. Jaland- 
har City: New-Age Publishers and Distributors, 1985. 

Foster, Barbara, and Michael Foster. The Secret Life of 
Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of 
Tibet and Its Torbidden Practices. Woodstock, N.Y.: The 
Overlook Press, 1987; revised, 1998. 

Middleton, Ruth. Alexandra David-Neel: Portrait of an 
Adventurer. Boston and Shaftesbury: Shambala Press, 
1989. 



A EVERT, CHRIS (Christine Marie Evert, 
Chris Evert Lloyd) 

(1954— ) American tennis player 

Chris Evert won a total of six U.S. tennis opens, seven 
French opens, three Wimbledon titles, and two Aus- 
tralian opens during her career. Her professionalism 
attracted media attention, large audiences, and signif- 
icant prize money to women's tennis during the 1970s 
and 1980s. Evert served the game of tennis as much 
off the court as on the court. Her impressive poise 
during tough, mentally taxing matches contrasted 
sharply with the poor, spoiled-brat behavior of many 
of her fellow tennis stars (notably Jimmy Connors 
and John McEnroe). Evert (sometimes called "little 
miss icicle") was elected president of the Women's 
Tennis Association (WTA) a record nine times, 
including eight consecutive terms from 1983 to 1991. 
Her dedication to a sport that made her a success ele- 
vated her stature even more. "It wasn't like I was going 
to play the tournaments and collect the prize money 
and not be involved in the decision-making or take an 
interest in helping make changes for the better," she 
commented. "[By serving the WTA] you feel like 
you're putting something back in the game." 

Chris Evert was born on December 21, 1954, in 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the second of Colette and 



James Everts five children. The Everts all played ten- 
nis; James Evert was the teaching professional at Fort 
Lauderdale's Holiday Park Tennis Center. At the age 
of six, Chris Evert began spending two to three hours 
a day and eight additional hours on weekends prac- 
ticing her strokes. She was not strong enough to hit 
the ball backhanded with just one arm, so she began 
perfecting her signature two-handed backhand (later, 
she would become one of the first top players to rely 
on a two-handed backhand; the stroke became her 
mightiest weapon during tournament play). 

Evert began competing at the age of 10; by her 
15th birthday, sports reporters and fans began giving 
her their attention. In 1970, she defeated another 
top-ranked player in the Clay Court Tournament 
(Evert became a clay court specialist), and then went 
on to upset Margaret Court, who had just won the 
Grand Slam by winning Wimbledon, the U.S., 
French, and Australian Championships within the 
same calendar year. Eventually, Evert lost to Nancy 
Richey in the finals. At the time, Evert was still a 16- 
year-old amateur. 

Evert turned professional after winning the Vir- 
ginia Slims championship tournament (the first of 
157 career tournament victories) and the U.S. Clay- 
Court Championship in 1971. In August 1971, she 
became the youngest woman ever to play for the U.S. 
Wightman Cup Team, an annual team competition 
between players from the United States and Great 
Britain. She won both her matches, defeating Winnie 
Shaw, 6-0, 6-4, and Virginia Wade, 6-1, 6-1. 

As Chris Evert's popularity grew, the tennis 
world began making adjustments to spotlight her 
performances. In September 1971, she played her 
first match in the U.S. Open in Forest Hills, New 
York on the stadium's center court. More than 
9,000 spectators watched her victory over Ger- 
many's Edda Buding. Evert faced the top American 
player, Billie Jean King, in the semifinals. More 
than 13,000 fans were courtside to watch King 
defeat Evert in straight sets, 6-3, 6—2. 

Upon graduation from Fort Lauderdale's St. 
Thomas Aquinas High School in 1972, Evert had 
reached the number one ranking and embarked on her 
domination of women's tennis. From 1973 to 1979, 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



she reached the semifinals or better in 17 of 19 U.S. 
Open competitions. She won the All-England Cham- 
pionships at Wimbledon in 1974, 1976, and 1981. 

Everts comments about her composure on court 
have inspired others facing difficult challenges, 
whether in sports or other endeavors. When asked 
about her cool behavior on court after a disappointing 
call, she commented, "I don't show a lot of emotion on 
the court because I don't want to waste energy and I 
don't want my opponents to see how I really feel." 
How does she advise young women to view their suc- 
cesses and failures? "If you can react the same way to 
winning and losing," she noted, "that's a big accom- 
plishment. That quality is important because it stays 
with you the rest of your life, and there's going to be a 
life after tennis that's a lot longer than your tennis life." 

Chris Evert married British Davis Cup player 
John Lloyd in 1978; they divorced in 1987. The fol- 
lowing year, Evert married Olympic skier Andy Mill. 
In January 1991, President George H. W. Bush 
appointed Evert to the President's Council on Physi- 
cal Fitness and Sports. She serves as a special adviser 
to the United States Tennis Association and is on the 
board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and 
the Women's Sports Foundation. In addition, she 
participates in the Virginia Slims Legends Tour to 
benefit the National AIDS Fund. 

Further Reading 

Lloyd, Chris Evert, with Neil Amdur. Chrissie: My Own 

Story. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982. 
O'Shea, Mary Jo. Winning Tennis Star: Chris Evert. 

Mankato, Minn.: Creative Education Society, 1977. 

Young Adult. 
Sabin, Francene. Set Point: The Story of Chris Evert. New 

York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977. 



A FRITH, MARY (Moll Cutpurse) 
(c. 1584-1659) English outlaw 

Mary Frith, or Moll Cutpurse, as she was known to 
London's criminal elements, had her standards. She 
was not, she insisted, a mere pickpocket. No, she had 
risen far above that petty crime; she was a Fagin, or a 
trainer of pickpockets. Far from a mere crook, how- 



ever, Frith, a literate woman during a time when few 
women — let alone criminals — could read and write, 
wrote her memoirs, which were published three years 
after her death. Furthermore, Frith's adventures and 
exploits became grist for the English drama mill 
when two playwrights turned her life into a play. 

The daughter of a shoemaker, Mary Frith was well 
educated, but she refused to submit to the discipline of 
school. As a young girl, her parents set her up in an 
upper-class home as a domestic servant, but she loathed 
housework and looking after children. As a means of 
escaping both her employer and the consequences of 
her gender (for there was little alternative for women in 
her time), Frith began wearing men's clothing and 
devoting herself to a life of crime. A wide variety of 
petty infringements attracted her: forging signatures, 
managing a house of prostitution, pickpocketing, and 
working as a receiver, or a person who receives stolen 
goods and then resells them. She also tried her hand at 
fortune-telling, but that, she lamented, was not very 
profitable. During her criminal escapades, Frith 
became known as Moll Cutpurse. The surname "Cut- 
purse" was meant literally; she was known for cutting 
the straps of purses and stealing them. 

The variety of crimes she committed, and her ability 
to escape the clutches of the law, made Frith famous. 
She numbered among her friends such famous offend- 
ers as highwaymen Richard Hannan and Captain Hind 
(highwaymen were men who stopped coaches on coun- 
try roads and robbed passengers of their possessions). 

Only once did the police actually catch her. Lon- 
don's bobbies, or policemen, nabbed her during a heist 
in which she attempted to rob General Thomas Fairfax 
(1612—71), a well-known English officer, on Hounslow 
Heath. In the escape attempt, Frith wounded Fairfax in 
the arm and shot two of his servants' horses. Surpris- 
ingly, she was released from London's Newgate prison 
when she was able to post bail, set at 2,000 pounds. 

Mary Frith is famous mostly as a folk hero, as is 
true for other English criminals such as Robin Hood. 
English stories, plays, and poems allude to her strange 
cross-dressing behavior and her choice of a life of 
crime — unusual for a woman in her day. The most 
thorough treatment of Frith in literature appeared in 
161 1, in a play written by English dramatists Thomas 



8 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



Middleton (1570-1627) and Thomas Dekker 
(1572-1632), called The Roaring Girl. 

Most of the information that historians have about 
Mary Frith comes from her own publication called The 
Life and Death of Mrs Mary Frith, Commonly Called 
Mai [or Moll] Cutpurse, published three years after her 
death. That Mary Frith was able to write and have her 
memoirs published tells us three things: first, we know 
that Frith was literate and educated. Second, she was 
well known (publishing books in the 17th century was 
not a commonplace occurrence); third, criminal biog- 
raphies sold well in the 17th century and were one way 
that English people entertained themselves. 

Readers who examine Friths memoirs realize 
quickly that the editor's introduction to the book dif- 
fers from what Frith writes about her own life. The 
introduction deals mostly with Friths childhood, 
paying particular attention to her habit of dressing 
like a man. For example, the editor comments, "A 
very tomrig [tomboy] or rumpscuttle she was, and 
delighted and sported only in boys' play and pastime, 
not minding or companying with the girls . . . She 
would fight with boys, and courageously beat them, 
run, jump, leap or hop with any of them or any other 
play whatsoever; in this she delighted, this was all she 
cared for." The editor goes on to suggest that astrol- 
ogy, or placement of the planets, best explains why 
Frith behaved the way she did. Furthermore, she did 
not marry or have children because her manner of 
dressing, in men's clothing, did not attract a man 
(none "were tempted or allured"). Mary Frith had 
worn a man's doublet, or a sort of suit coat, until she 
took to bed before her death on July 26, 1659. 

Friths own writing, which begins after the editor's 
introduction, differs from the editor's remarks. She 
spends very little time on her childhood, and instead 
she discusses how she became involved in the criminal 
world, and what she had to do to survive there. She 
does, however, explain her choice of wearing men's 
apparel by noting that women's clothing was "exces- 
sive" and "wasteful," and "impoverished of their hus- 
bands, beyond what they are able to afford towards 
such lavish and prodigal gallantry." In other words, 
Frith thought that the women's extravagant fashions of 
the day were a waste of their husbands' money. 



Frith concludes her memoir by denying that she 
"had ever actually or instrumentally cut any man's 
purse, though I often restored it." She did live to 
regret her involvement in prostitution for the "lewd- 
ness and bastardies that ensued." Here is how she 
ends her memoir: 

"Let me be lain in my grave on my belly, with my 
breech [backside] upwards . . . because I am unwor- 
thy to look upwards. As I have, in my life, been pre- 
posterous, so I may be in my death. I expect not nor 
will I purchase a funeral commendation, but if [the 
preacher] be squeamish and will not preach, let the 
sexton mumble two or three dusty, clayey words and 
put me in, and there's an end. FINIS." 

Further Reading 

Frith, Valerie. Women & History: Voices of Early Modern 
England. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1995. 

Meadows, Denis. Elizabethan Quintet. New York: Macmil- 
lan, 1956. 

Middleton, Thomas, and Thomas Dekker. The Roaring Girl: 
Or, Moll Cutpurse. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997. 



A HEN IE, SON) A 

(1912-1969) Norwegian skater 

Imagine a spinning top slowly losing momentum 
until it drops to one side, wagging side to side, then 
dropping still. Then, imagine the same top spinning 
and gliding on a sheet of ice, cutting figures and leap- 
ing into the air. Sonja Henie took the basic athletic 
turns and jumps of figure skating and applied the 
graceful movements of a ballet dancer. The result of 
her efforts: three Olympic gold medals. 

Family fortune and innate talents conspired 
together to create this Norwegian-born world 
champion skater. Henie was born on April 8, 1912, 
in Oslo, Norway. Her father, Hans Wilhelm Henie, 
had been a world champion cyclist, in addition to 
his talents in a variety of other sports. He actively 
encouraged the development and enjoyment of 
sports in his children. Sonja's mother, Selma 
Lochman-Nielsen Henie, supervised her daughter's 
skating career as well. 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



What many people living in warmer climates think 
of as "winter sports" are really simply matters of life for 
Scandinavians living in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. 
Schools and churches, train stations and businesses, 
particularly in less populated areas, all include racks 
upon which people hang their skis while they are 
inside. Motion on ice and snow for Scandinavians is 
akin to moving in water for people living in warm- 
water climates. So when Sonja Henie put a pair of 
skates on her feet, she thought of them as providing 
another fun way to move around on winter days. Fig- 
ure skates, however, meant refining her movements for 
the purpose of tracing certain figures on the ice. She 
practiced for hours, receiving informal instructions 
from a member of a skating club, and then entered and 
won a competition at age nine. The Henie family 
began taking their daughters skating seriously. 

Two years of rigorous training, exercise, and danc- 
ing (including ballet lessons in London) earned 
Sonja, and her family, the national championship of 
Norway. Three years later she won second place in 
the world figure-skating championships. The follow- 
ing year, 1927, the world competition was held in 
Oslo, Norway, where Henie won the first of 10 con- 
secutive world figure skating championships. Her 
success changed the nature of the sport. 

In the 1920s, women all over the world began 
changing their appearances quite drastically. Skirt 
lengths rose to the knee, elaborate hairstyles were 
unpinned, and hair was clipped to chin length. Sonja 
Henie introduced this new fashion to the world of 
figure skating by wearing a white velvet short dress, a 
marked change from the traditional long, black skat- 
ing skirt. 

Second, Henie infused figure skating with ballet 
and other dance moves. She studied a contemporary 
dancer, Anna PAVLOVA, and incorporated many of 
the moves she watched. She made a deliberate 
attempt to design and skate to a choreographed pro- 
gram of ballet solos. Rather than merely showing 
proficiency at the accepted and technically difficult 
figure skating turns and jumps, Henie sought grace 
on the ice. 

After the world championship, Henie embarked 
on a decade of shows, exhibitions, parties, and more 



competitions. Certainly skating took up most of 
Sonja's time, but she was only 16 years old at the 
time, and she found time to explore other sports, as 
well. A natural athlete, Sonja Henie placed second in 
tennis tournaments and competed in a brand-new, 
modern sport: auto races. 

After winning the world champion figure skating 
competition 10 times, and two more Olympic gold 
medals in 1932 and again in 1936, Sonja Henie 
decided to end her amateur skating career in 1936, 
and she immediately started another. 

She had visited the United States in 1929 and 
returned for the Lake Placid Olympic Games in New 
York in 1932. This time, in 1936, the Henie family 
looked to southern California. The infant movie 
industry, begun in New York City in the early 1900s, 
had by this time moved to California. The Henies 
rented the Polar Palace in Hollywood for two ice 
shows, which were immensely successful. They had 
calculated correctly; offers for film appearances came 
pouring in to 24-year-old Sonja Henie. She signed a 
five-year movie contract with Twentieth-Century 
Fox. Her first film, based loosely on her own life, One 
in a Million (1936), was a success. In 1939, she was 
ranked third behind Clark Gable and Shirley Temple 
as a box office attraction. 

In 1937, Norwegian King Haakon made Sonja 
Henie a Knight of the First Class of the Order of St. 
Olav, the youngest person to receive the honor. Sonja 
Henie became an American citizen in 1941, however, 
after her marriage to sportsman Daniel Reid Top- 
ping. The marriage ended in divorce in 1946. Next, 
she married Winthrop Gardiner, Jr.; they divorced in 
1956. In the same year, she married her compatriot, 
wealthy shipping magnate Niels Onstad. Together, 
the couple purchased paintings and opened the Sonja 
Henie-Niels Onstad Art Center in Oslo. Sonja 
Henie died of leukemia on October 12, 1969. 

Further Reading 

One in a Million. Directed by Sidney Lanfield. 94 mins. 

Twentieth-Century Fox, 1936. Videocassette. 
Streit, Raymond. Queen of Ice, Queen of Shadows: The 

Unsuspected Life of Sonja Henie. New York: Scarborough 

House Publishers, 1990. 



10 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



& JAMES, NAOMI 

(1949- ) New Zealand skipper and racer 

In 1978, Naomi James piloted her sloop, the Express 
Crusader, across the finish line of her home harbor of 
Dartmouth, England. She had returned home from 
an around-the-world sailing trip. She had spent 
months on the sea, sunburnt, windburnt, with no 
one else on board to keep her company. At her home- 
coming, her friends and family welcomed her back 
and congratulated her on her feat: she had just 
become the first female to sail solo around the world. 

Several months earlier, a Polish rival, Krystyna 
Chojnowska-Liskiewicz, had made a similar trip, 
threatening to achieve fame before James. But the 
competitor had sailed through the Panama Canal, 
linking South and Central America, instead of mak- 
ing the treacherous passage around Cape Horn, at 
the southern tip of South America. That was the 
route that James took, making her trip, in contrast to 
the Polish woman's, strictly an ocean sail. 

Born in Gisborne, near Hawkes Bay, on the shores 
of New Zealand's north island, Naomi Power James 
is the daughter of farmers Charles Robert Power and 
Joan Doherty Power. She attended a girls' high school 
in Rotorua, New Zealand. She did not like school 
and dropped out at age 16 to work as a hairstylist 
from 1965 to 1971. James had always wanted to 
travel, and in 1 970, she and her sister Juliet traveled 
by ship to London, England. The two sisters' next 
stop was Vienna, Austria. In France, on a bicycle 
tour, she met Robert James, the skipper of a yacht 
called the British Steel. James asked Naomi to work 
on the boat as a deckhand and cook. Seasick at first, 
James soon took to the life of a sailor. 

When Naomi returned to New Zealand in 1975, 
she read a magazine story about a woman who 
planned to sail around the world. Intrigued by the 
idea, she began planning a similar trip. The following 
year, the adventurer returned to London and married 
Robert James. The union brought her into contact 
with other sailors, yacht owners, and much-needed 
sponsors for the challenge that lay ahead of her. 

James's accomplishment is all the more gratifying, 
considering her relative lack of experience at the helm 



of a sailboat. She had never skippered a yacht before 
setting off alone on her record-breaking trip. On 
Christmas 1976, she did have her first heavy- weather 
sailing experiences in the Bay of Biscay, off the coasts 
of Spain and France. She wrote in Alone Around the 
World that she had never witnessed such appalling 
weather. Her husband was with her, and he helped 
her identify when to wait, and when it was safe to set 
sail again. When they prepared to return to England, 
Rob James allowed Naomi to navigate the boat back 
home. "... I didn't altogether trust my ability to find 
land again," she wrote, but she did. 

A few evenings later, back in England, the Jameses 
and other sailors had dinner with yacht owner Chay 
Blyth. The diners' spirits were high, James admits, 
buoyed by a "very memorable" cocktail called a "Yel- 
low Bird." Someone brought up the topic of sponsor- 
ship for James's around-the-world voyage, and when 
the room fell silent, James's heart sank. But then, one 
sailor exclaimed that he thought she could manage 
the trip with a boat and 10,000 English pounds. One 
man offered the money, and Blyth offered her the 
boat, and then next thing James knew, the gauntlet 
had been thrown. Within the next few months, she 
gained the confidence and sponsorship of the news- 
paper that would become her publicist, the London 
paper Daily Express. 

With only her kitten Boris as company, James 
began her journey on her 53-foot yacht, the Express 
Crusader, on September 9, 1977, from Portsmouth, 
England. She sailed southward toward South Africa, 
along the Ivory Coast. On October 16, she crossed 
the equator, the imaginary line dividing the Northern 
and Southern Hemispheres of the earth. Her first dif- 
ficulty on the trip occurred when her radio broke 
down, cutting off all communication. A few days 
later, Boris fell overboard and drowned. 

James continued her journey, rounding the tip of 
South Africa, sailing toward her homeland of New 
Zealand, and then toward South America. Her boat 
tipped over on February 27, due to heavy waves. She 
pumped the water out and turned the boat upright 
again. Then, she rounded Cape Horn on March 20, 
with only three months left in her journey. She sailed 
north along the east coast of South America and North 



II 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



America, and then back to Portsmouth on June 8, 
1978. Later, James reported that her only disappoint- 
ment had been that she had to make two stops: one at 
the Falkland Islands, located off the country of 
Argentina in South America, and the other at Cape 
Town, South Africa. James made both stops for repairs 
to her boat. Her journey had lasted 272 days, and cov- 
ered about 30,000 miles (48,000 km). 

In 1983, James lost her husband in a boating 
accident. Ten days later, she gave birth to their 
daughter. "Five years ago, when my husband was 
killed in a sailing accident," she wrote in 1989, "I 
turned my back on the sea . . . but a lifetime (even 
one of nine months' duration) spent sailing around 
the world, with one's fate at the mercy of the ocean, 
cannot be dismissed so easily." James agreed to 
embark on another voyage of exploration in the 
South Seas. Her story, "The Polynesian Triangle," 
became part of the book entitled Great Journeys: 
Twentieth Century Journeys Along the Great Historic 
Highways of the World (1990). James married Eric 
Haythorne in 1990 and has spent much of her time 
since then writing and lecturing. "Woman Alone," a 
piece she wrote for the Daily Express in 1978, 
recounts her famous around-the-world trip, as does 
Alone Around the World, written in 1979. Her second 
book, Alone with the Sea, describes her participation 
in a 1980 single transatlantic race and the events sur- 
rounding the event. 

Further Reading 

James, Naomi. Alone Around the World. New York: Coward, 

McCann & Geoghegan, 1979. 
. At Sea On Land. London: Hutchinson/Stanley 

Paul, 1981. 
McLoone, Margo. Women Explorers of the Ocean: Ann 

Davison, Eugenie Clark, Sylvia Earle, Naomi James, 

Tania Aebi. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press, 2000. 

Young Adult. 



A MARKHAM, BERYL (Beryl Clutterbuck) 
(1902-1986) British aviator 

Writer and horsewoman Beryl Markham, born in 
England, spent most of her life in Kenya. She became 



the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic from 
east to west. Beryl Markham established two success- 
ful careers in her remarkable life: one as a bush pilot, 
and the other as a trainer of racehorses. She became a 
celebrity in 1936 when she made a record-breaking 
solo flight across the Atlantic, from London to Nova 
Scotia — where she crash-landed. Her account of her 
life, West with the Night (1942), became a best-seller. 
She competed fearlessly with men, at a time when 
many women competed with other women for men. 

Born Beryl Clutterbuck in Leicestershire, En- 
gland, on October 26, 1902, her father, Charles 
Clutterbuck, took her to live with him at his farm in 
Kenya when she was just four. Kenya came under 
British control in the late 19th century; many En- 
glishmen established farms there in the next few 
decades. Beryl's mother and brother stayed behind in 
Leicestershire, England. Young Beryl quickly adapted 
to her new surroundings, learning the tribal lan- 
guages of Swahili, Nandi, and Masai. She learned to 
train and breed racehorses, a hobby that would one 
day develop into her livelihood. When her father's 
farm fell into financial difficulties, he returned to 
England and left Beryl in Kenya to take charge of the 
farm and the horses. At age 18 she became the first 
female horse trainer in Africa, obtaining a trainer's 
license from the government. Her horse won the 
prestigious Kenya St. Leger race in 1926. 

She learned to hunt during her childhood by 
befriending native Kenyans and accompanying them 
on hunts. "She could hurl a spear just as well as Kibii 
[her Nandi friend], with deadly accuracy," writes her 
biographer, Errol Trzebinski. "She had learned to 
straighten her arm in a backward arabesque as if to 
hurl a javelin, sending out a thrust to impale." 

After mastering hunting and horsewomanship, 
Markham set her sights on aviation. When her mar- 
riage to rugby player Mansfield Markham (with 
whom she had her only child) ended, she fell in love 
with hunter and aviator Denys Finch Hatton. At the 
time, Hatton lived with fellow African expatriate 
Karen Blixen, who wrote about her own affair with 
him in her book Out of Africa, penned under the 
pseudonym Isak Dinesen. Hatton taught Markham 
to fly before he died in a plane crash. Within weeks of 



12 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



his funeral in 1931, she became the first woman in 
Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license. 

By 1931 she had become a professional "bush" 
pilot, carrying mail and passengers to locations all 
over North Africa; these flights could be tricky, as the 
more remote areas had no landing strips or airfields, 
and Markham had to scope out the best terrain in 
which to land. Worse, her single-engine, 120-horse- 
power airplane had no radio, no direction-finding 
equipment, and no speedometer. During one flight 
to London, her plane was forced down several times 
due to bad weather. She landed in the Sudan when 
her engine failed; local people helped her push the 
plane onto firmer ground so that she could try again. 
She successfully landed in Khartoum, where she dis- 
covered that the engine had a cracked piston ring. 
Taking off again, she was then forced to land outside 
Cairo, Egypt, during a severe dust storm. After she 
repaired her plane, she flew across the Mediterranean 
Sea, wearing an inner tube around her neck as a life- 
saving device. She finally landed safely in London. 

After five years of flying experience, Markham 
competed for a major prize in aviation, the prize of 
being the first to fly solo across the Atlantic from 
London to New York. Her choice of an east-west 
flight was significant: during such a flight she would 
be facing prevailing winds, rather than having them 
at her back. It was these west-east winds that aided 
Charles Lindbergh in his successful solo flight from 
New York to Paris in 1927. 

Markham's goal of a nonstop London— New York 
flight took on further significance as she planned to 
show that commercial air service between the two cities 
was feasible. She borrowed the single-engined Percival 
Gull airplane that was fitted with extra gas tanks so that 
it could travel 3,800 miles without the need to refuel. 
Even with this extra boost, however, Markham was still 
taking incredible chances. Her airplane had no radio; 
she would be totally isolated during her flight. She took 
off on September 4, 1936, at 8 P.M. 

She faced strong head winds and nasty weather 
during her flight. Ships spotted her airplane flying 
above them and reported her progress to those wait- 
ing on shore. Sometime after 4:30 P.M. on September 
5, however, she disappeared. 



A call was placed from a small town in Nova Sco- 
tia: Beryl Markham had survived her trip, but she 
had crash-landed in a peat bog. She reportedly got 
out of her plane and greeted two fishermen by saying, 
"I'm Mrs. Markham. I've just flown in from Lon- 
don." She was escorted to New York City by the U.S. 
Coast Guard, where New Yorkers welcomed her with 
a ticker-tape parade. 

Markham spent much of the 1940s in the United 
States, moving to California and marrying writer 
Raoul Schumacher. Markham's relationship with 
Schumacher has called the writing of her autobiogra- 
phy into question. Her biographers are divided on 
the matter. Errol Trzebinski believes that Schumacher 
ghostwrote the book West with the Night. Another 
writer, Scott O'Dell, claimed to have seen the couple 
working on the book together; Markham was talking 
to her husband, while Schumacher was typing. Other 
critics argue that many writers dictate copy that edi- 
tors polish. 

In 1952, Markham returned to Kenya to pursue 
her former occupation of horse breeder and trainer. 
She died in Kenya at the age of 84. 

Further Reading 

Gourley, Catherine. Beryl Markham: Never Turn Back. 
Berkeley, Calif.: Canari Press, 1997. Young Adult. 

Lovell, Mary. Straight On Till Morning. New York: St. Mar- 
tin's Press, 1987. 

Markham, Beryl. West with the Night. Topeka, Kans.: 
Econo-Clad Books, 1999. Young Adult. 

Trzebinski, Errol. The Lives of Beryl Markham. New York: 
W.W.Norton, 1993. 



A MATA HARI (Margaretha Zelle MacLeod) 

(1876-1917) Dutch/French dancer and spy 

Mata Hari was a dancer, prostitute, and spy, who 
popularized Asian culture throughout Europe with 
her exotic dance act. The fame and fortune she 
gained as a result ultimately became her downfall. 
Her death was as dramatic as her life. 

It was early morning in the Vincennes woods east 
of Paris on October 15, 1917. For three and a half 
years, war had enveloped all of Europe in an endless 



13 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



M **- 



IIS HnmUKBa 











Passport of Mata Hari issued by the Dutch consul in 
Frankfurt am Main on August 15, 1914. 



bloodbath that killed and wounded nearly an entire 
generation of young men. Twelve such hardened 
young soldiers stood in the Vincennes woods that 
October morning, waiting for orders to fire upon 
another kind of victim of the carnage of war. 

Soon, a car pulled up, unloading its passengers: 
an elderly man, a nun, and a middle-aged woman. 
The nun escorted the woman to a clearing in the 
forest, and there Margaretha Zelle MacLeod waited 
for the shots that would extinguish her life. A few 
minutes later, MacLeod, a convicted spy better 
known as Mata Hari, crumpled to the ground amid 
a volley of shots. 

MacLeod, born Margaretha Zelle on August 7, 
1876, grew up in Holland. Her father, a once- 
successful hatmaker in Leewarden, Holland, lost his 
wife to an illness, and his business to creditors, when 
his eldest daughter was just 15. Unwilling to raise his 
independent-minded, headed-for-trouble teenage 
daughter Margaretha by himself, he placed her in the 
home of her uncle. Training to become a school- 
teacher, Zelle began having an affair with the head 
schoolmaster. To escape the wrath of her family, she 
answered a prank advertisement calling for a wife for 
a Dutch army captain. Rudolph MacLeod was a cap- 
tain in the Dutch Colonial Army, stationed on the 
island of Java (Java is part of the East Indies, a group 
of islands that extends between the Asian mainland 
to the north and west, and Australia to the south. 



The East Indies includes Borneo, Sumatra, and Java). 
MacLeod's friends had placed the ad as a joke on the 
39-year-old MacLeod; he had not expected the prank 
to work. He and Zelle courted for four months 
before they married in 1895. The couple then left for 
the East Indies. 

By the time the MacLeods' son was two and their 
daughter newborn, the marriage had begun to sour. 
The life of a colonial wife did not suit the lively, 
socialite Margaretha, and Rudolph MacLeod blamed 
his wife for her lack of interest in housekeeping. The 
final nail in the coffin of their marriage was the 
death of their son. The child did not survive a fever 
resulting from, his parents assumed, a tropical dis- 
ease. The doctor discovered, however, that the boy 
had been poisoned. 

The Dutch, for all their reputation as a tolerant 
people, had dealt ruthlessly with their colonial charges 
in Sumatra. They had cleared millions of acres of rain 
forest for tobacco plantations, thereby ruining the 
livelihood for the indigenous people. Furthermore, 
many Sumatrans were willing to wage war against their 
colonizers. The Dutch responded by trying to subdue 
them. The person who poisoned the MacLeods' son 
may have acted for personal reasons — he was allegedly 
the lover of the boy's nurse — or he may have exacted 
revenge for colonial misrule. In either case, Rudolph 
MacLeod blamed his wife for his son's death. The two 
returned to Holland and divorced. 

Leaving her daughter with her former husband, 
Margaretha Zelle MacLeod summoned up her 
courage; plenty would be needed, for single women 
had few means of making a living. MacLeod assessed 
her life honestly. She loved entertainment and spot- 
lights. She left for the European city that offered the 
most of both: Paris, France. 

While living in Java, MacLeod had attended 
numerous festivals and dances as the wife of an army 
officer. The dancing in particular had intrigued her, 
and she became convinced, after watching the enter- 
tainment that Parisiennes enjoyed, that she could 
make people pay to watch her dance. 

The timing was right. The American dancer 
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) had just become a pop- 
ular figure in Europe, and Paris night owls were open 



14 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



to new innovations in the art form. So MacLeod 
dressed herself in exotic costumes, labeling her act 
"sacred oriental art" to appeal to the more highbrow 
audiences. To appeal to the rest, she ignored the taboo 
on sinful undulations of the female body; her audi- 
ences went wild. She soon changed her name to Mata 
Hari, a Malaysian phrase meaning "eye of the sun." 
She invented — and allowed careless journalists to 
invent — various stories about her background. This, 
too, would contribute to her conviction as a spy. 

Mata Hari quickly became a household name in 
the early 1900s and 1910s. She danced in France, 
Germany, Italy, Austria, and Belgium, carefully bal- 
ancing decorum with daring. Her dance career, how- 
ever, faded within the course of 10 years. She began 
to age, and her wealth had turned her trim body to 
become more than voluptuous. As the attention of 
Europeans turned to the tensions that would ulti- 
mately erupt in war, entertainment became second- 
ary, and her patrons seemed more interested in 
patriotism than foreignness. Always willing to sell 
her body for money, Mata Hari became a mistress to 
a string of servicemen from various nations when 
World War I started in Europe in 1914. She lived in 
Paris during the war, although she traveled fre- 
quently to Holland and Germany as well. Soon, a 
German intelligence officer offered her money to 
keep him informed of any knowledge that her 
French lovers might unwittingly spill while enjoying 
her company. She became a double agent when she 
agreed to perform the same service for the French. 
Not realizing the dangers involved, she inadvertently 
sealed her own fate by admitting that she had been 
paid by a German intelligence officer, although she 
had never given any information to anyone. A jury 
found her guilty of treason. The punishment was 
death by firing squad. 

Further Reading 

Howe, Russell Warren. Mata Hari, the True Story. New 

York: Dodd, Mead, 1986. 
Keay, Julie. The Spy Who Never Was: The Lives and Loves of 

Mata Hari. London: Michael Joseph, 1987. 
Wagenaar, Sam. The Murder of Mata Hari. London: A. 

Barker, 1964. 



OKAMOTO AYAKO 

(1951- ) 



Okamoto Ayako grew up mastering a sport other than 
golf. At the age of 20 she was one of Japan's top 
women's Softball pitchers. Indeed, she was so unfamil- 
iar with golf that when she and her softball teammates 
were in Hawaii for a championship, golfers had to 
chase them off the golf course near their hotel because 
they were sitting on the green. They did not know 
what it was. Okamoto has come a long way since 
then. At the age of 45, she won her 60th Japanese 
Ladies' Professional Golf Association (JLPGA) tour- 
nament. Since coming to the United States in 1981, 
she has won 17 Ladies' Professional Golf Association 
(LPGA) Tour victories. In 1987, she won LPGA 
Player of the Year, the first foreign woman so honored. 

Born in Hiroshima, Japan, on April 2, 1951, 
Okamoto's career in the far more lucrative sport of 
golf began at the age of 22. She apprenticed by prac- 
ticing and caddying at a private golf club in Osaka, 
Japan. Higuchi Chako, her mentor and role model, 
dominated Japanese women's golf at the time, 
becoming the first Japanese player to win the U.S. 
LPGA championship in 1977. 

Okamoto quickly caught up with her mentor 
(Okamoto and Higuchi currently serve as vice chair 
and chair, respectively, of the JLPGA). By the age of 
25, she turned professional in Japan and won 20 
JLPGA events between 1975 and 1981. By 1981, 
Okamoto had reached stardom in Japan. She decided 
to come to the United States to compete with world 
champions, but also to escape the pressures of her 
celebrity status. In 1984 she won the British Open. 
While in the United States, Okamoto won 17 LPGA 
tournaments and topped the money list with 
$466,034 in 1987 (in professional golf, competitors 
are ranked according to their earnings). Okamoto had 
her career best scoring average in 1988 at 70.94, which 
represents the number of shots it took to complete an 
18-hole golf course. Par at most golf courses is 72 (i.e., 
golfers are allowed an average of four shots from tee-off 
until the ball drops in the hole at each green; 
Okamoto's score thus represents her ability to com- 
plete a course under par). 



15 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



Ironically, her stature in Japan has increased since 
she moved to the United States. Fellow golfer Jane 
Geddes accompanied Okamoto on a trip back to 
Japan. She described Okamoto's celebrity in Japan as 
being akin to basketball star Michael Jordan's status in 
the United States. "One time," explained Geddes, "we 
took a train, and by the time we left there were a hun- 
dred older women pressed up against the window, cry- 
ing and screaming just to see her." Back in the United 
States, the Japanese media follow the athlete wherever 
she goes, in part because Okamoto represents an 
anomaly in Japanese society. Single women over the 
age of 35 are considered old maids; Japanese journal- 
ists call Okamoto "grandmother" behind her back. 

Okamoto hit her stride in the world of golf just as 
Japan's economic boom soared in the late 1980s. By 
1993, Japan's economy was the second largest in the 
world, despite its lack of natural resources. For pro- 
fessional golfers like Okamoto, flush economic times 
meant rich endorsement deals with everything from 
sports equipment companies to coffee creamer man- 
ufacturers. In addition, tournaments were paying 
$25,000 to $50,000 in appearance fees alone. 
Okamoto has never been shy about betting on her- 
self. When she is playing with friends for fun, she 
suggests playing for money: $10 per hole. 

Okamoto describes her golf game as a quest for 
perfection. "With every single shot I felt I knew 
which way the ball would go," she told British sports- 
writer Liz Kahn. "If there was one blade of grass 
between the ball and the club I knew how it would 
react . . . my moment of impact was so precise, it was 
a joy. It was what I had been searching for all my 
career." Okamoto is just as precise off the greens. 
Although her English is very good, she insists on 
using a translator for interviews. "I am not happy if I 
don't speak perfectly," she says. 

By the mid-1990s, perfection came less easily for 
the champion as back problems waylaid her. Okamoto 
stopped playing in tournaments regularly, and she 
finally returned to Japan in 1995. Jane Geddes 
described Okamoto as "so Japanese. She never really 
adjusted to the States." And, ironically, she missed her 
celebrity status back home. "She likes the part of her 
life where she gets waited on," commented Geddes. 



Further Reading 

Burnett, James. Tee Times: On the Road with the Ladies Pro- 
fessional Golf Tour. New York: Scribner, 1997. 

Golf Magazine's Encyclopedia of Golf ed. Robert Scharff. 
New York: Harper & Row, 1990. 

Nickerson, Elinor B. Golf A Women's History. Jefferson, 
N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1987. 



A RODNINA.IRINA 

(Irina Konstantinovna Rodnina) 

(1949- ) U.S.S.R. couples figure skater 

Irina Rodnina and her first partner, Alexei Ulanov 
(1947- ), ended the reign of another Soviet figure 
skating team, Ludmila Belousova Protopopov 
(1935- ) and Oleg Protopopov (1932- ). The 
Protopopovs exhibited a graceful, lyrical skating style 
that had won the hearts of figure skating judges all 
over the world. The Rodnina/Ulanov team brought a 
new energy and athleticism to the sport, ultimately 
usurping the throne of world champion figure skaters 
away from the Protopopovs. During her 11 -year 
competitive career, Irina Rodnina won 10 World 
Championship titles: four with Alexei Ulanov and six 
with her second partner, Alexander Zaitsev. By the 
time she retired in 1980, Rodnina had won more 
medals than any other figure skater in history. 

It is not surprising that a Soviet team inherited the 
crown from another Russian duo, since the Soviets 
dominated the sport during the cold war era 
(1946-91). Drawing on their cultural heritage of bal- 
let, and taking advantage of a state-supported system 
of athletic training and competition, a Soviet pair 
won every Olympic gold medal, and 28 out of 34 
World Championships, in figure skating between 
1964 and 1994. 

The cold war is a term used to describe the 
intense antagonism and rivalry between the United 
States and western Europe, on one side, and the 
U.S.S.R. and eastern Europe on the other. At times, 
such as during the Korean War (1950-53), the cold 
war "heated up," and a military conflict occurred. At 
other times, the rivalry between the two parts of the 
world took the form of cultural fights. Athletic 
events, such as the Olympics and the European 



16 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



World Figure Skating Championships, were drama- 
tized by cold war tensions. Athletic contests, such as 
figure skating competitions, took on political 
dimensions as judges and spectators viewed skating 
styles as representing cultural differences between 
democracy and communism, rather than individual 
tastes and abilities. Judges on both sides of the Iron 
Curtain (a phrase British Prime Minister Winston 
Churchill coined to mean the division between the 
communists in the East and democracies in the 
West) were accused of nationalistic biases. The con- 
troversy went so far that in 1977 an International 
Skating Union (ISU) suspension prohibited all 
Soviet judges from participating in international 
competitions that year. 

Born in Moscow on September 12, 1949, Irina 
Rodnina began skating at the age of six. She was 
selected as a promising young athlete by the Soviet 
government and began training under Stanislav 
Zhuk. She graduated from the Central Institute for 
Physical Culture in Moscow, where she also taught. 
In her teens, she began skating with Alexei Ulanov, 
and the two developed a new, energetic style, bring- 
ing couples' figure skating into the space age with 
power, speed, and stamina. 

In addition to physical power, the Rodnina/Ulanov 
team chose loud, boisterous music to accompany their 
skating routines. Typically, figure skaters of the time 
selected classical, romantic music to underpin their 
graceful skating moves. But audiences and judges were 
ready for a change. The Rodnina/Ulanov team won 
their first championship in 1969, continuing their 
dominance until 1972. 

Under Rodnina's influence, figure skating devel- 
oped into a more athletic sport, requiring more phys- 
ical prowess and control. Judges rate a couple's ability 
to perform lifts, throws, and jumps. Lifts are moves in 
which the male partner hoists the female above his 
head. Both skaters should achieve full extension of 
their arms and legs, and they should keep moving on 
the ice, not slowing down to perform the lift. The 
woman should be brought down at full speed, in con- 
trol, and should land softly. In a twist lift, the man 
releases the woman to rotate in the air, and then 
catches her at the end of the move, requiring perfect 



timing. In a throw, the male partner throws the 
female as she jumps, allowing her to increase momen- 
tum and achieve a higher jump. Often, couples will 
introduce moves in which both partners will jump 
separately, but side by side; at other times, their 
movements will mirror each other. 

The Rodnina/Ulanov team won high praise for 
their "death spiral," in which Ulanov pivoted on his 
skates while holding Rodnina's hand; meanwhile, 
she bent her body backward, fully extended, almost 
parallel to the ice. The pivot began at a high speed, 
then slowly lost momentum as it continued. At the 
end of the move, Rodnina gracefully came back to 
an upright position. 

Irina Rodnina lost her partner in 1972, when he 
announced his plans to marry a member of a rival 
skating team, Ludmila Smirnova. Rodnina began 
auditioning new partners and found a worthy match 
in Alexander Zaitsev. Initially, the pairing seemed 
doubtful since Zaitsev was a full foot taller than 
Rodnina. But the two persisted and together won 
two Olympic gold medals, in 1976 and 1980, end- 
ing the long-held notion that a couple had to be 
fairly equal in height to be a success. Rodnina and 
Zaitsev also introduced a new move to figure skat- 
ing, a side-by-side double axel in which both skaters 
glide forward on one foot, jump, and land on the 
opposite foot, spinning. A double axel is two and 
one-half revolutions. 

Rodnina and Zaitsev married in 1975 and had 
one son in 1979. They later divorced. Rodnina mar- 
ried a businessman, and the couple moved to the 
United States in 1990. She coaches skaters at Lake 
Arrowhead, California. She was elected to the World 
Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1989. 

Further Reading 

Levinson, David, and Karen Christensen, eds. The Encyclo- 
pedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present, 
Volume 2, Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1996. 

U.S. Figure Skating Association Staff. The Official Book of 
Figure Skating. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. 

Woolum, Janet. Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are 
and How They Influenced Sports in America. Phoenix, 
Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1998. 



17 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



A RUDOLPH.WILMA (Wilma Glodean 
Rudolph) 

(1940-1994) American track champion 

African-American athlete Wilma Rudolph became 
the first American woman to win three gold medals 
in track and field competition. She won the 100- 
meter and 200-meter individual races, and she was a 
member of the winning American 400-meter relay 
team. Rudolph set world records in the 100-meter 
and 200-meter races. An unlikely athlete — much less 
world-class champion — Rudolph suffered from polio 
in her youth, a disease that left her partially para- 
lyzed. In addition to poor health, Rudolph had to 
challenge the hurdles thrown in front of her by the 
prejudices of a racist society. Wilma Rudolphs tri- 
umphs took place during the height of the Civil 
Rights movement in the United States. 

Born in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, on June 23, 
1940, to Ed and Blanche Rudolph, Wilma was the fifth 
of eight children. Ed Rudolph was a sleeping-car porter 
on the railroad, and her mother was a domestic servant. 
Her household included an additional set of 1 1 chil- 
dren by her father's previous marriage. When she con- 
tracted polio, a disease that causes the degeneration of 
limbs, in 1944, her family assumed that she would be 
spending the rest of her life wearing leg braces and spe- 
cial shoes. A specialist in Nashville recommended a 
therapy of massages on both her legs. Her entire family 
took turns massaging "Wilma s legs. Wilma detested 
having to wear her braces, and she began to try walking 
without them, despite her parents' insistence that she 
follow doctor's orders. Once a week, Blanche Rudolph 
would drive her daughter to Nashville for more physi- 
cal therapy. In the segregated South, African Americans 
could not be treated at white hospitals; the Rudolphs' 
only choice was Meharry Hospital, the black medical 
college of Fisk University in Nashville. At the end of 
five years of treatment, Wilma stunned her doctors by 
walking without the braces, although she still needed a 
shoe designed to support her leg. Finally, at the age of 
1 1 , she discarded the shoe as well. 

When she started high school, Rudolph wanted to 
follow her sister Yolanda and join the basketball team. 
The coach doubted her ability to play any kind of 



sport because of her polio. She convinced him to let 
her join the team, promising to work out every morn- 
ing for 10 minutes before the team began practice. 
Rudolph developed into a fine player. During her 
sophomore year, she scored 803 points in 25 games, a 
new state record for a girls' team. Ed Temple, the 
coach at Tennessee State University, spotted her in one 
of her games. Rudolph's school, Burt High School in 
Clarksville, lacked funding and did not have a girls' 
track team. Before the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board 
of Education Supreme Court case that mandated inte- 
gration, schools in the South were segregated, and 
most black schools lacked an adequate tax base to 
afford all of the extracurricular activities that were 
available at white schools. Ed Temple invited Rudolph 
to attend a summer sports camp at Tennessee State 
University in 1956. 

Wilma Rudolph had never heard of the Olympics 
until 1956, the year that Rafer Johnson, an African- 
American track star, won a silver medal in track and 
field. At the age of 16, she qualified for the Summer 
Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. She came home 
with a bronze medal. In 1957, she began attending 
Tennessee State University with a major in elemen- 
tary education. In 1959, she pulled a muscle during a 
crucial meet between the United States and the 
Soviet Union in Philadelphia. She recovered in time 
for the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where Rafer John- 
son became the first black man to carry the American 
flag at opening ceremonies. 

Wilma Rudolph's performance at the 1960 
Olympics remains among the most outstanding in 
the history of the modern games. Although she was 
not the first black woman to win a gold medal (that 
distinction goes to Alice Coachman-Davis, who won 
the high jump at the 1948 Olympics in Tondon), 
Rudolph won all three gold medals in memorable 
fashion. In the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter 
dash, she finished three yards in front of her nearest 
competitor, tying the world record in the 100-meter 
dash and establishing a new Olympic record in the 
200-meter race. Then, she brought victory home for 
her 400-meter relay team. 

In some ways, however, Rudolphs victories were 
bittersweet. She came home to a ticker tape parade 



18 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



and was invited to the White House to meet Presi- 
dent John F. Kennedy, becoming an instant sports 
celebrity. Despite all the attention, however, she 
noticed a distinct difference in the way that black 
athletes were treated. All of the endorsements that a 
white star of Rudolph's stature would have received 
were not forthcoming. There were no companies 
interested in promoting their products by using the 
name and image of an African-American athlete. 

Rudolph retired from amateur athletics in 1963, 
finished her college degree, and became a teacher, 
coach, and director of the Wilma Rudolph Founda- 
tion. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert 
Eldridge, with whom she had four children. The cou- 
ple later divorced. She wrote her autobiography, 
Wilma, in 1977, and it was made into a television 
movie. In 1991, she served as an ambassador to the 
European celebration of the dismantling of the Berlin 
Wall. She was a member of the Olympic Hall of 
Fame and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. 
She died at her home in Brentwood, Tennessee, on 
November 12, 1994, of a malignant brain tumor. 

Further Reading 

Biracree, Tom. Wilma Rudolph. New York: Chelsea House, 

1988. 
Coffey, Wayne. Wilma Rudolph (Olympic Gold). Blackbirch 

Marketing, 1997. Young Adult. 
Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph 

Became the World's Fastest Woman. San Francisco: Har- 

court Brace, 1996. Young Adult. 
Rudolph, Wilma. Wilma Rudolph on Track. New York: 

Wanderer Books, 1980. 

A SACAGAWEA (Sacajawea, Boinaiv) 

(c. 1786-c. 1812) Native American guide 
and translator 

The life of Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian, has 
become one of the most enduring histories of the 
American "West. Members of a Hidatsa tribe captured 
Sacagawea during a war raid when she was a child. 
The Hidatsas sold her into slavery, and eventually she 
became the wife of Toussaint Charbonneau, who 
later became a guide to the Tewis and Clark expedi- 




Sacagawea, a member of the Lemhi band 

of the Shoshone Indians, was the interpreter 

for the 1 8th-century Lewis and Clark expedition. 

Courtesy State Historical Society of North Dakota. 

tion (1804-1806). Sacagawea was the only woman to 
travel with the explorers as they charted the lands 
west of the Mississippi River for U.S. President 
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Sacagawea's experi- 
ences became legendary because they encapsulated 
the elements of the Euroamerican mythology of the 
American West: the heroic exploring and conquering 
of a vast "wilderness," and the idea of bringing civi- 
lization to uncivilized peoples. 

We have little information about the early life of 
Sacagawea as an individual. She was born into the 
Lemhi band of the Shoshone Indians, who lived along 
the Salmon River in present-day central Idaho. Her 



19 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



father was the band's chief, and Sacagawea's Shoshone 
name was Boinaiv, which means "Grass Maiden." The 
Hidatsa Indians, also called Minitari or Gros Ventre, 
lived near the Mandan Indians on the Missouri River 
in what is now North Dakota. In 1800, Boinaiv's 
band was camped at the Three Forks of the Missouri 
River in Montana, when they surprised some Hidatsa 
warriors. Conflict erupted, and the Hidatsas killed 
four men, four women, and a number of boys. Several 
children were captured and taken back to the Hidatsa 
village. Boinaiv was given the Hidatsa name Saca- 
gawea, which means "Bird Woman." French Cana- 
dian fur trapper Toussaint Charbonneau, who lived 
among the Hidatsas, won a gambling game and 
acquired Sacagawea and another girl as a prize. He 
eventually married both women. 

Meanwhile, Thomas Jefferson purchased the 
Touisiana Territory from French Emperor Napoleon 
Bonaparte (1769-1821) in 1803. The United States 
suddenly included 827,987 square miles of land 
acquired from France for about $15 million. The 
Touisiana Purchase stretched west from the Missis- 
sippi River (the westernmost border of the United 
States at the time) to the Rocky Mountains, and 
north from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian bor- 
der. Jefferson had already been planning an expedi- 
tion to chart a route through the lands west of the 
Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean, and to establish 
friendly relations with Native Americans. He hired 
U.S. Army Captain Meriwether Tewis and William 
Clark, a former U.S. Army officer, to lead the "corps 
of discovery." The party gathered in St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, in May 1804 and headed west. 

Much of what we know about Sacagawea's life from 
1804 comes from the journals of Lewis and Clark. The 
corps reached the Mandan and Hidatsa villages near 
the mouth of the Knife River in North Dakota in 
October 1804. As winter weather approached, the 
expedition decided to remain there until the following 
spring. "A Mr. Chaubonie [Charbonneau] interpreter 
from the Goss [Gros] Ventre nation came to see us . . ." 
wrote William Clark on November 4, 1804. "This 
man wished to be hired as an interpreter." Lewis and 
Clark accepted Charbonneau's offer in part because his 
two wives were Shoshone and could act as interpreters 



between the white corps and the native people they 
would encounter. The corps of discovery relied on 
Native Americans for supplies and for knowledge of 
the land they were "discovering" for the U.S. govern- 
ment. The process of translation was rather cumber- 
some, however. Sacagawea would listen to the 
Shoshone language, relay the message in Gros Ventre 
to Charbonneau, who would then speak French to 
another individual, who then reinterpreted the mes- 
sage in English to Lewis and Clark. 

In February 1805, Sacagawea gave birth to a boy, 
whom she named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Saca- 
gawea carried the infant in a cradleboard as the corps 
renewed their journey west in April after winter had 
passed. Lewis recorded Sacagawea's knowledge of edi- 
ble plants, such as wild artichoke, in his journal. In 
May 1805, Lewis described a close call the party expe- 
rienced while navigating canoes on the Yellowstone 
River. A sudden squall of wind nearly knocked one of 
the canoes over. "The Indian woman, to whom I 
ascribe equal fortitude and resolution with any person 
on board at the time of the accident, caught and pre- 
served most of the light articles which were washed 
overboard." In June, Sacagawea fell ill, and both Lewis 
and Clark tended to her, expressing disgust at Char- 
bonneau's negligence toward his sick wife. "If she dies 
it will be the fault of her husband," wrote Lewis. 

Sacagawea recovered and soon became reunited with 
part of her Shoshone family. In July 1805, the party 
passed the spot on the Three Forks where Sacagawea 
had been captured. A week later, Sacagawea recognized 
her brother Cameahwait, who had become the Lehmi- 
Shoshone chief. Securing horses and supplies from her 
people, and leaving her adopted nephew, Bazil, in the 
care of Cameahwait, Sacagawea continued on the expe- 
dition over the Rocky Mountains. 

In November 1805, the travelers came upon the 
Pacific Ocean. Clark commented again on the benefit 
of Sacagawea's presence in the expedition: "The wife of 
Shabono [Charbonneau] our interpreter we find rec- 
onciles all the Indians as to our friendly intentions, a 
woman with a party of men is a token of peace." 

In August 1 806, the party again reached the Man- 
dan villages of North Dakota where they had spent 
the winter of 1804-05. Sacagawea, Charbonneau, 



20 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



and their son Jean Baptiste stayed behind as the corps 
of discovery returned to St. Louis. 

Sacagawea's death remains shrouded in controversy. 
Evidence exists that suggests that she died a few years 
after the expedition, in 1812. Some historians, how- 
ever, claim that Sacagawea left her husband and went 
to live among the Comanche Indians. Later, she 
returned to the Shoshone Indians, some of whom were 
by then living in the Wind River Agency in Wyoming. 
Some Shoshone Indian agents and missionaries report 
that she lived to be 100 and was buried at Fort 
Wakashie, Wyoming. Opponents of this theory argue 
that there was another woman calling herself Saca- 
gawea who lived in the Wind River Agency. 

If Sacagawea did live to an old age, she would have 
seen the decline of tribal life among Native Ameri- 
cans, and the beginning of a reservation existence that 
reduced Native Americans to dependence on the U.S. 
government for a meager living. For Native Ameri- 
cans, the Lewis and Clark expedition did not bring 
"civilization" to the American West but rather marked 
the beginning of the end of their own cultures. 

Sacagawea has become one of the most celebrated 
women in American history. In May 1999, First Lady 
Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled a new dollar coin 
memorializing the Shoshone guide. 

Further Reading 

Alter, Judy. Extraordinary Women of the American West. New 
York: Grolier Children's Press, 1999. Young Adult. 

Clark, Ella E., and Margot Edmonds. Sacagawea of the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition. Berkeley: University of Cal- 
ifornia Press, 1979. 

Ronda, James P. Lewis and Clark Among the Indians. Lin- 
coln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. 



A STANHOPE, HESTER 

(Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope) 

(1776-1839) English/Middle Eastern 
adventurer 

Lady Hester Stanhope, born on March 12, 1776, into 
the wealthy aristocratic British Chatham dynasty, was 
doted upon by her socialist father who called her "the 
best logician I ever saw." As a result, she became a tall, 



empowered figure. She left England permanently in 
1810, traveling around the Mediterranean before set- 
tling in Lebanon. She adopted the masculine clothes 
and manners of a Middle Eastern Bedouin, after losing 
her suitcase of clothes in a shipwreck. She published 
her memoirs in 1845. 

Lady Hester Stanhope's reputation endures as the 
forerunner of adventurous women travelers in the 
nineteenth century. Early women travelers, such as 
Alexandra DAVID-NEEL and Beryl MARKHAM, were 
from wealthy backgrounds, and many of them trav- 
eled because of Europe's history of imperialism, 
beginning in the late 18 th century. Many were mis- 
sionaries, or daughters or wives of missionaries; oth- 
ers traveled and lived abroad because of trade or 
military careers of their husbands. Lady Stanhope 
traveled for the sake of her health, but also out of a 
romance with Middle Eastern culture. 

Lady Hester Stanhope's taste for adventure began 
while in the care of her grandmother, Lady Chatham, 
in Somerset, England. Here, she became famous as a 
horsewoman, especially her ability to train recalcitrant 
horses that others had deemed untrainable. Lady 
Stanhope "had a conviction of the rights of the aris- 
tocracy," according to British writer Virginia Woolf 
(1882—1941), "and ordered her life from an eminence 
which made her conduct almost sublime." 

She was the daughter of Lord Charles Mahon, third 
earl of Stanhope, and Lady Hester Pitt, whose father 
was the first earl of Chatham, William Pitt the Elder 
(1708-78). During her early thirties, she kept house 
and acted as a secretary to William Pitt the Younger 
(1759-1806), her uncle. He supposedly said to her, "If 
you were a man, I would send you on the Continent 
with sixty thousand men, and give you carte blanche." 
Apparently, the comment was justified. During the 
renewal of war between Britain and France in 1803, 
she was made an honorary colonel of the Berkshire 
Militia and the 15th Light Dragoons. When her 
favorite suitor, Sir John Moore, and her half-brother 
Charles died in battle near Cornelia, Spain, Lady Stan- 
hope left England for the Mediterranean. 

In 1810, she departed for the Middle East, 
accompanied by her brother James and her per- 
sonal physician Charles Meryon, who would later 



21 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



help her write her lengthy six-volume memoir, 
Travels and Memoirs. She paused her tour briefly in 
Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, where she tried 
to convince the British embassy that she had an 
idea that would help them defeat the French 
emperor Napoleon (1769-1821), who threatened 
to engulf all of Europe (he was finally defeated at 
Waterloo in 1815). When the embassy officials 
rejected her idea, she left in a huff, heading for 
Egypt. She nearly died when shipwrecked on the 
Greek island of Rhodes. She chartered a boat and 
continued her travels until she reached Cairo, 
Egypt, where she stayed for two years. The Pasha 
Mohammad Ali (1805-48) helped arrange her 
tours of Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus. 

To say that Lady Stanhope took to the culture of 
the Middle East would be a gross understatement. 
She arrived in Palmyra, Syria, "astride a horse," 
according to Virginia Woolf, "in the trousers of a 
Turkish gentleman." (In this respect, too, Lady 
Stanhope was a forerunner. A century later, in the 
early 1900s, women began wearing ties and suit 
coats that resembled men's attire, in order to gain 
respect in the eyes of their peers in business.) She 
settled at Dar Djoun, an abandoned convent near 
Sidon, in present-day Lebanon. There, for the next 
two decades, Lady Stanhope lived in a Muslim 
world. She offered advice to Druze Bedouins (a reli- 
gious community combining aspects of Islam with 
gnosticism), and other European travelers, who 
sought her counsel. She also provided refuge for 
Englishmen caught up in the battle of Navarino, 
Greece, during the Greek War for Independence 
against the Ottoman Empire (1821-28), and to 
some 200 refugees fleeing from the 1832 Siege of 
Acre. In this battle, the Pasha Mohammad Ali 
defeated the Turks; the Ottoman Empire, which 
had stretched from North Africa, through the Mid- 
dle East, Turkey, and southeastern Europe, was 
slowly breaking up. 

Lady Hester Stanhope spent her last years in seclu- 
sion and in poverty. In 1838 the British government 
had appropriated her pension to satisfy creditors. 
Stripped of her wealth, she died on June 23, 1839, 
in Dar Djoun, where she is buried. 



Further Reading 

Childs, Virginia. Lady Hester Stanhope: Queen of the Desert. 
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1990. 

Day, Roger. Decline to Glory: A Reassessment of the Life and 
Times of Lady Hester Stanhope. Salzburg, Austria: Uni- 
versity of Salzburg, 1997. 

Stanhope, Lady Hester. Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stan- 
hope. Salzburg, Austria: Insitut fur Anglistik und 
Amerikanistik, Universitat Salzburg, 1985. 

Watney, John. The Travels in Araby of Lady Hester Stanhope. 
New York: Atheneum, 1976. 



A STARK, FREYA (Dame Freya 
Madeline Stark) 
(1 893-1 993) British traveler and writer 

Freya Stark, a woman with the soul of a wanderer, 
made her first trip over the Dolomite Mountains in 
Italy in a basket before she could walk. Her father, 
Robert Stark, theorized that children go through 
various stages in becoming adults, just as 
humankind traveled through epochs in history. 
Therefore, "children should travel," he proclaimed, 
according to Freya Stark's Perseus in the World, "at the 
time when in their epitome of history they are 
nomads by nature." Freya Stark's travels span several 
decades throughout her life. Universities have 
bestowed honorary degrees upon her for the scholar- 
ship her journeys produced. "The lure of explo- 
ration," she explained in Zodiac Arch, "still continues 
to be one of the strongest lodestars of the human 
spirit, and will be so while there is the rim of the 
unknown horizon in this world or the next." 

Stark spent part of her childhood in England, 
with her father's family, and part in Italy, where the 
family of her mother, Flora Stark, lived. Her parents 
were art students in Paris when Freya was born on 
January 31, 1893. In 1903, the Starks settled in 
Dronero in the Italian Piedmont, where Flora Stark 
became a partner in a carpet manufacturing business. 
The business soon intruded upon the marriage, and 
the couple separated. Before Robert Stark left Italy to 
settle permanently in British Columbia, he 
bequeathed large sums of money upon his two 
daughters. Freya spent her inheritance on her college 



22 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



education, attending Bedford College in London, 
but she did not finish a degree there. When she 
turned 21, World War I (1914-18) interrupted her 
studies, and she served as a nurse in Italy. 

Like Alexandra DAVID-NEEL and many other 
upper-class Europeans at the time, the Middle East 
ignited her imagination; during her free time, she 
began studying Arabic with an old missionary friar 
in Italy. When the war ended, she returned to Lon- 
don and began studying Arabic at the School of 
Oriental Studies. Her inability to converse in the 
language she was learning became frustrating, so she 
decided to learn the living language by going to 
where it was spoken. Freya Stark had additional 
frustrations that lured her abroad. At the age of 34, 
she later told a Newsweek reporter, "My failure to 
find a husband made me frustrated and unhappy, 
for I felt it must be due to some invincible inferior- 
ity in myself." 

In 1927, she spent a winter in Syria and soon forgot 
her singularity, particularly after she and a friend trav- 
eled to the Druze lands that were then under French 
control (the Druze are an Arabic-speaking people living 
in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel). In the 1920s, Druze 
tribes throughout Syria and in parts of Lebanon 
rebelled against French officials who attempted to upset 
tribal traditions. The police wanted to keep European 
travelers out of the area, and they stopped the two 
women near the Syrian border. Rather than playing 
into the officers' fear tactics, however, Stark took a dif- 
ferent tack. Determined to see more of the country and 
acquaint herself with more people, she decided to pre- 
tend that she and her companion were guests of the 
officers, on holiday. She hopped into their car and 
asked them to show her around. The officials drove 
their passengers about in the town of Shahba, stopping 
wherever the women wanted. 

In 1929, Stark traveled to Baghdad, a city that 
enchanted her. She was invited to stay with other 
expatriates in the British Club, but, since Arabs were 
never allowed there, she refused. She stayed with a 
shoemaker's family instead. By this time, Stark had 
found an outlet for her writing. The Baghdad Times 
began publishing her observations of life in areas of 
the Middle East where few Westerners had gone 



before, such as the wilderness of western Iran. As her 
reputation as a travel writer grew, her pocket no 
longer provided the funds for her jaunts; instead, 
English foundations, such as the Royal Geographic 
Society, picked up the bills. The Royal Geographic 
Society awarded her with the Burton Medal — the 
first woman to receive it — in 1933. 

In the late 1930s, Stark, alarmed at the rise of fas- 
cism in Italy, decided to relocate to England, and she 
offered her services to the British government. She 
went first to Aden, Yemen, as an assistant informa- 
tion officer to the British Ministry of Information. 
Next, she traveled to Cairo, and then back to Bagh- 
dad, where she tried to persuade the Middle Eastern 
countries to join the Allied cause (she was at least 
partially successful; Arabia remained neutral 
throughout the war). In 1943 she was dispatched to 
the United States to counteract Zionist propaganda 
(Zionism referred to the movement by Jews to gain a 
national Jewish state in Palestine) that provoked 
anti-British sentiment (the British were American 
allies). While in the United States, Stark lectured at 
colleges and women's clubs. 

After the war, Stark continued traveling and writ- 
ing about the Middle East. She became interested in 
the Kurdish people and, in 1959, wrote Riding to the 
Tigris. Her supreme literary and scholarly achieve- 
ment was her magnificent Rome on the Euphrates (an 
examination of the relationship between the Roman 
Empire and the Middle East), which appeared in 
1966. Her last travel book, The Minaret of Djam, 
about her visit to Afghanistan, was published in 
1970. After decades of scholarship, the Queen of 
England made Stark a Dame of the British Empire in 
1972. Freya Stark died at her villa near Venice, Italy, 
on May 9, 1993. 

Further Reading 

"Freya Stark of Arabia," Newsweek 42 (Nov. 2, 1953): 

92-93. 
Moorhead, Caroline. Freya Stark. London: Viking Press, 

1985. 
Stark, Freya. Dust in the Lion's Paw. London: John Murray, 

1961. 
. East is West. London: John Murray, 1945. 



23 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



TABEIJUNKO 
(1939- ) 



nese mountaineer 

At 12:30 A.M. on May 4, 1975, Tabei Junko 
lurched upright in her sleeping bag on a windswept 
peak near Mount Everest. She and 14 other Japan- 
ese women climbers had been asleep in their tents 
after a grueling day of climbing. Tabei knew instinc- 
tively what woke her: an oncoming avalanche. She 
and her tent mates were thrown together and their 
tents collapsed around them. Tabei had a vision of 
her two-year-old daughter Noriko playing at home, 
and then she blacked out. When she regained con- 
sciousness, she found that the others had survived. 
The group's six Sherpas, or Himalayan climbing 
guides, had deftly pulled the women out of the 
snow and ice. Tabei suffered from bruises and a 
wrenched back, but two days later, the leader took 
her place at the front of the line and the group 
resumed their ascent. Twelve days later, Tabei 
became the first woman to reach the summit of the 
highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest 
(29,028 feet above sea level), accompanied by a 
Sherpa. Between 1975 and 1991, Tabei scaled the 
highest mountain peaks all over the world. In addi- 
tion to the sport of climbing, Tabei has also been a 
model climber-conservationist. To help preserve the 
pristine mountain environment she loves, she 
directs an organization dedicated to preserving the 
Himalayan mountain range in its natural state. 

Tabei Junko was born Istibashi Junko on Septem- 
ber 22, 1939, in Fukushima Prefecture, on the island 
of Honshu, north of Tokyo. The 1930s were a turbu- 
lent decade in Japanese history. In 1931, Japan 
invaded the Chinese territory of Manchuria and con- 
tinued its aggressive moves by attacking Beijing, 
Shanghai, and Nanking. The nearly impassable moun- 
tains of western China and the guerrilla resistance 
staged by Chinese communists stalled the Japanese 
invasion of China. Meanwhile, the United States had 
become alarmed by Japanese aggression in China. 
Encouraged by early German successes in World War 
II, Japan signed a defensive Tripartite Pact with Nazi 
Germany and Italy in September 1940. The United 
States responded by banning the sale of iron, steel, and 



fuel to Japan. In retaliation, on December 7, 1941, 
the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. 

The war years brought hardship for many Japan- 
ese people, including the Istibashi family. "Japan was 
very poor at that time," says Tabei. "I couldn't think 
of climbing mountains, or any kind of leisure. We 
had to worry about what we would eat." By the time 
Japan surrendered in 1945, Istibashi Junko had suf- 
fered from many illnesses, but by the age of 10, still 
frail though in better health, she climbed her first 
mountain. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in a moun- 
taineering school with some of her friends. The 
teacher led the students on a climb of Mount Nasu, a 
6,289-feet-high mountain in Japan. Istibashi Junko 
liked the strenuous exercise and the cool mountain 
air. Despite Japan's tradition of athletes and adven- 
turers, people who pursue individual goals — espe- 
cially women — risked "the fate foreseen in the 
Japanese adage 'the nail that sticks up will be ham- 
mered down,'" according to Sports Illustrated writer 
Robert Horn ("No Mountain Too High for Her," 
Sports Illustrated, April 29, 1996, p. 5). Tabei liked 
the feeling of accomplishment she got when she 
worked with others to reach the common goal of 
ascending a mountain peak. 

After graduating from Showa Women's University 
with a degree in English literature in 1962, Tabei 
became a teacher by profession and continued climb- 
ing mountains. She formed a women's hiking club 
and met and married fellow mountaineer Tabei 
Masanobu. The pair had a daughter, Noriko, in 1972. 

In 1970, Tabei Junko left Japan and began to 
explore mountain summits in foreign countries. She 
reached the summit of Annapurna III in the 
Himalayas. Soon, she determined to try to become 
the first woman climber to reach the highest moun- 
tain in the world, Mount Everest, also located in the 
Himalayas between the country of Nepal and the 
Tibet region of China. She applied to the Nepalese 
government for permission to lead a tour up Mount 
Everest in 1971. At this time, Tabei was working as an 
editor of the Journal of Physical Society of Japan. Dur- 
ing the four-year waiting period, she lined up corpo- 
rate sponsorship of the trek and raised additional 
money by giving piano lessons. 



24 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



More than 180 people have been killed in 
attempts to reach the summit since the first docu- 
mented climb of Mount Everest by New Zealander 
Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 
1953. Interviewed after her achievement, Tabei, who 
stands four feet 1 1 inches tall and weighs 94 pounds, 
described herself as "just a housewife." 

Tabei Junko continued traveling and climbing 
mountains all over the world. By 1992, she became the 
first female climber to reach the tops of the "seven sum- 
mits," the seven highest peaks on seven continents. In 
1975, she scaled Everest; in 1980, she reached Kiliman- 
jaro in Tanzania (19,340 feet); in 1987, Tabei ascended 
Aconcagua in Argentina (22,834 feet); a year later, she 
reached the top of Alaska's Mount McKinley (20,320 
feet). In 1989, she climbed Russia's Elbrus (18,510 feet) 
and then Vinson Massif in Antarctica (16,066 feet). 
Finally, in 1992, she scaled Carstensz Pyramid in 
Indonesia, at a height of 16,023 feet. 

In addition to her climbing career, Tabei directs the 
Himalayan Adventure Trust, an organization dedi- 
cated to keeping the Himalayas clean so that all 
climbers can enjoy them. In doing so, she has made 
people aware that if they want to continue enjoying 
the earth's resources for their own enjoyment, they 
must be willing to preserve them and keep them clean. 

Further Reading 

Horn, Robert. "No Mountain Too High for Her," Sports 
Illustrated, vol. 84, no. 17 (April 29, 1996): 5. 

McLone, Margo. Women Explorers of the Mountains: Nina 
Mazuchelli, Fanny Bullock Workman, Mary Vaux Wal- 
cott, Gertrude Benham, Junko Tabei. Mankato, Minn.: 
Capstone Press, 2000. 



A TERESHKOVA,VALENTINA (Valentina 
VladimirovnaTereshkova-Nikolayeva) 

(1937— ) Soviet Russian cosmonaut 

On June 16, 1963, seated in the spaceship Vostok VI, 
Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the 
first woman in space and only the 10th human to 
orbit the earth. On her voyage, Tereshkova orbited the 
earth 48 times, traveling over 1 .2 million miles before 
returning to earth three days later. Her achievements 



in space travel led to her political appointments, 
including her election to the presidency of the Com- 
mittee of Soviet Women in later years. 

Tereshkova's three-day voyage, however, had 
been a technical flop, according to Time magazine 
("Coloring the Cosmos Pink," Time, June 13, 
1983, p. 58). Poorly prepared, factory worker 
Tereshkova had, according to Soviet defectors living 
in the United States, become severely ill during the 
flight, and was reluctant to embark on the journey. 
When Tereshkova returned from her flight she 
received a hero's welcome and kisses from a beaming 
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), 
who announced that Tereshkova symbolized the 
new Soviet woman. The article goes on to question 
why, if the Soviets were so enamored with female 
astronauts, it took them 19 years to send another 
Soviet woman, Svetlana Savitskaya, into orbit. 

The Time article typified the competitive atmos- 
phere pervasive during the cold war. During the 
1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R) and 
the United States were engaged in the cold war, or 
an ideological war of words and deeds that fell just 
short of military engagement. The cold war became 
"hot" when tensions between the two nations 
heightened and military confrontations occurred, 
for example during the Korean War (1950-53), 
when the Soviets and China supported North Korea 
and the strongly U.S. -backed United Nations 
fought to keep communism out of South Korea. 

One way that the two nations competed with 
each other for world supremacy that involved the 
military only indirectly was the so-called space race. 
When the U.S.S.R. became the first nation to 
launch Sputnik I, an earth satellite, on October 4, 

1957, the United States soon followed with its own 
earth satellite, Explorer I, launched on January 3 1 , 

1958. On October 4, 1959, the U.S.S.R. Lunar 2 
satellite reached the moon. In 1962, U.S. President 
John F. Kennedy (1917-63) proclaimed, "we must 
send a man to the moon!" On July 11, 1969, U.S. 
astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930- ) left his space 
capsule Apollo 11 and took "one small step for a 
man, one giant leap for mankind" on the surface of 
the moon. 



25 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



In addition to racing for domination of outer 
space, the two superpowers competed for superiority 
in the domestic sphere. On July 24, 1959, Vice Pres- 
ident Richard Nixon (1913-94) and Khrushchev 
engaged in a series of lively debates known as the 
"Kitchen Debates" at the American National Exhibit 
held in Moscow. During the confrontation, the two 
leaders squared off by comparing the technological 
advances their two nations had made; rather than dis- 
cussing the touchy area of nuclear weaponry, however, 
Nixon and Khrushchev chose the safer area of home 
appliances to compare the well-being of the American 
and the Soviet woman. While Nixon trumpeted the 
triumph of clothes and dishwashers that made life eas- 
ier for American housewives, Khrushchev announced 
that Soviet women were superior because they con- 
tributed directly to the economy. Tereshkova, indeed, 
symbolized women's contributions to Soviet society. 

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova-Nikolayeva 
was born on March 6, 1937. She reached adulthood 
during a dark period of Soviet history. Soviet dictator 
Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), threatened by members of 
his own government, had instituted purges — a system 
of eradicating the government's enemies by imprison- 
ment, exile, or execution — in 1936. Between 1932 
and 1937, the second of two Five- Year Plans began. 
The aim of these economic plans was to transform the 
Soviet Union into an industrialized nation and to ren- 
der privately operated farms into government-run 
farms (this process was called "collectivization"). 

Tereshkova's family was affected by the Five-Year 
Plans. Before her father was killed in action during 
World War II, he had been a kolkhoznik — a collec- 
tive farm worker — in Yaroslavl, a village north of 
Moscow (Tereshkova was born in Soviet Russia's 
Volga river region, in the village of Maslennikovo). 
Her mother worked in a state-owned cotton mill. In 
1954, the future cosmonaut started working in a tire 
factory but later joined her mother and sister operat- 
ing looms in the cotton mill. The teenage girl edu- 
cated herself by taking correspondence courses. In 
1959, she became a member of an air sports club 
and took up parachuting; it was her proficiency in 
this hobby that led to her acceptance in the cosmo- 
naut training unit for which she volunteered in 



1962. During her work as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova 
graduated from the Zhukovskii Military Aviation 
Academy in 1969. 

After she stopped working as a cosmonaut, 
Tereshkova became a politician. She joined the Com- 
munist Party in 1962, the year she began training as a 
cosmonaut. She became president of the Committee 
of Soviet Women in 1968 but was not reelected dur- 
ing the Gorbachev perestroika, or openness, the time 
in which the U.S.S.R. was slowly taking on more 
democratic freedoms. She became a nonvoting mem- 
ber of the Central Committee of the Communist 
Party of the Soviet Union in 1971. Tereshkova 
became a member of the 250-strong Soviet delega- 
tion, called the Soviet Society for Friendship and Cul- 
tural Relations in Foreign Countries. As a member of 
this organization, Tereshkova traveled to Chautauqua, 
New York, in August 1 987 to talk to American leaders 
about putting an end to the cold war. In 1992 she was 
appointed chair of the Presidium of the Russian Asso- 
ciation for International Cooperation. 

In 1963 she married fellow cosmonaut Andrian 
Nikolayev. They had a daughter but later divorced. 
Tereshkova complained that her husband drank too 
much and had become abusive. 

As a member of the Committee of Soviet Women, 
Tereshkova was asked what she thought of women's 
lives in the last half of the 20th century. She 
responded, "I believe that a woman should always 
remain a woman and nothing feminine should be 
alien to her. At the same time, I strongly feel that no 
work done by a woman in the field of science, or cul- 
ture, or whatever, however vigorous or demanding 
can enter into conflict with her ancient 'wonderful 
mission' [Tereshkova quoted the German poet 
Friedrich Schiller] — to love, to be loved — and with 
her craving for the bliss of motherhood." 

A crater on the reverse side of the moon is named 
for her, in honor of her accomplishments. 

Further Reading 

Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Ohrn, eds. Herstory: 
Women Who Changed the World. New York: Viking 
Press, 1995. 



26 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



Lothian, A. Valentina: First Woman in Space. Edinburgh, 

Scotland: Pentland, 1993. 
Sharpe, Mitchell. "It Is I Sea Gull": Valentine Tereshkova, First 

Woman in Space. New York: Crowell, 1975. Young Adult. 



A ZAHARIAS, BABE DIDRIKSON 
(Mildred Didrikson) 
(1913-1956) American athlete 

Babe Didrikson Zaharias has been called the best all- 
around athlete of the 20th century, and with good rea- 
son. She participated, and excelled, in almost every 
competitive sport imaginable. She captured gold 
medals at Olympic competitions, and she won numer- 
ous golf championships. If that were not enough, the 
Brooklyn Dodgers once asked Babe Didrikson, then an 
amateur baseball player, to play at an exhibition game. 
She struck out Joe DiMaggio, "Joltin Joe," major 
league baseball's legendary slugger! It was at that 
moment that sportswriter Grantland Rice called Babe 
Didrikson "the athletic phenomenon of our time." 

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Babe and her family 
relocated to Beaumont, Texas, soon after. Babe was 
the sixth of seven children in a working-class family 
where everyone contributed to the family income. 
She credited her parents with her athletic prowess. 
Both parents were raised in Norway, where Babe's 
mother, Hannah Marie Olsen, was a champion skier 
and skater. Her father, Ole Didrikson, a laborer, 
ignited her interest in sports at an early age. Growing 
up in Beaumont, Babe exhibited both athletic apti- 
tude and a penchant for performing, necessary traits 
in a successful competitor. She used the family's 
hedge in the backyard to refine her hurdling tech- 
niques. After a workout, Babe loved to pick up her 
harmonica and play for neighborhood audiences. 

If her family encouraged her interest in sports and 
performance, however, the public school system did 
not. Growing up at a time when girls were discour- 
aged from becoming athletes, Babe had to wait until 
she got a job as a typist — of all things — before she 
could compete. M. J. McCombs spotted her talent 
on the baseball diamond and offered her a job with 
Employers Casualty, an insurance company. The 
company sponsored teams that competed in amateur 



athletics, and McCombs could see that Babe would 
make their teams more apt to win. 

Babe Didrikson first came to national attention 
when her insurance company basketball team (yes, 
Babe played basketball, too) won the national Ama- 
teur Athletic Union (AAU) championships. Her out- 
standing play earned her an All-American AAU award 
in 1929, when she was only 16. In 1932, she entered 
the tryouts for the U.S. Olympic team at the national 
AAU competitions. She won first place in five sports: 
shot put, baseball, long jump, javelin, and 80-meter 
hurdles. She broke four national records. Babe Didrik- 
son was on her way to the games in Los Angeles. 

The following day, an Associated Press story made 
front-page news all over the U.S. "[Babe Didrikson] 
will lead the American Women's Olympic track and 
field team," announced the reporter. "Such assistance as 
she may need against the foreign invasion will be pro- 
vided by fifteen other young ladies." Babe was clearly 
expected to win the gold for the U.S., by herself if she 
had to. She won two golds, in hurdles and javelin, set- 
ting world records in both. The Associated Press named 
her its Woman Athlete of the Year that year. 

After the games ended, Babe became interested in 
golf, winning her first tournament in Texas in 1934. 
Her rivals on the green, however, began to question 
her status as an amateur athlete. One of the other 
players complained to the United States Golf Associ- 
ation (USGA) that Babe was a professional athlete 
and did not belong in an amateur tournament. Babe 
countered that she was a professional only in those 
sports governed by the AAU, such as basketball and 
track and field. The USGA, however, sided against 
her, declaring that because of her appearances as a 
professional in baseball and basketball, she would be 
barred from competing in all amateur golf tourna- 
ments. In 1944, her amateur status was reinstated. 

In 1947, she became the first American woman 
to win the prestigious British Women's Amateur 
Championship. The following year, she and Patty 
Berg formed the Ladies Pro Golf Association. Babe 
won the Women's Open Golf Championship in 
1948 and 1950. 

Babe Didrikson had married pro wrestler George 
Zaharias in 1938. Zaharias became her business 



27 



ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES 



manager and one of Babe's biggest supporters. Babe 
had surgery for colon cancer in 1953, but she recov- 
ered quickly and returned to golf, winning another 
tournament in 1954. The following year, however, 
doctors discovered that the cancer had reached her 
bones, where it was inoperable. She died on Septem- 
ber 27, 1956, with her golf clubs standing in her 
hospital room, ready for another round. 



. Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson 

Zaharias. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996. 
Freedman, Russell. Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making 

of a Champion. New York: Clarion Books, 1999. 
Lynn, Elizabeth. Babe Didrikson Zaharias. New York: 

Chelsea House, 1989. 
Johnson, William O., and Nancy Williamson. "Whatta- 

Gal": The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Story. Boston: Little, 

Brown, 1977. 



Further Reading 

Cayleff, Susan. Babe Didrikson: The Greatest All-Sport Ath- 
lete of All Time. Berkeley, Calif.: Conari Press, 2000. 
Young Adult. 



28 



2 



Amazons, Heroines, 
and Military Leaders 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



A ARTEMISIA I (Artemisia of Halicarnassus) 

(c. 520-450 B.C.E.) Halicarnassus queen 
and warrior 

"Of the other lower officers I shall make no mention," 
wrote the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 485-425 
B.C.E.) "... but I must speak of a certain leader 
named Artemisia, whose participation in the attack 
upon Hellas, notwithstanding that she was a woman, 
moves my special wonder." The warrior Queen 
Artemisia joined her ally, the Persian king Xerxes (r. 
486-465 B.C.E.), in the battle of Salamis against the 
Greeks in 480 B.C.E. She was one of Xerxes' leading 
military advisers and is thought to be the first woman 
sea captain. Before the battle of Salamis, Artemisia I 
wisely advised Xerxes not to engage the Greek naval 
power, since the loss of his fleet would result in the 
sacrifice of his ground army as well. Unfortunately, 
Xerxes, even as he praised Artemisia's words, took the 
advice of his other generals who advocated battle. 
After the battle, Artemisia was commended as the best 
tactician in Xerxes' army. She was the only naval offi- 
cer to survive the defeat of the Persian armada. 
Herodotus commended Artemisia for her courage, or 
andreia in the Greek language. To exhibit andreia for a 
woman was literally impossible, since the word con- 
noted manliness. 

Artemisia, the daughter of Lygdamis, a Halicar- 
nassian, and a Cretan mother, had been named after 
the Greek warrior goddess Artemis, sister to the 
Greek god Apollo. She had married the king of Hali- 
carnassus in 500 B.C.E. (His name has been lost. 
Most historians believe he died not long after the 
marriage.) Artemisia assumed the throne upon his 
death, becoming Artemisia I, Queen of Halicarnas- 
sus. The archenemy of Harlicarnassus, the nearby 
island of Rhodes (where Hester STANHOPE was ship- 
wrecked more than a thousand years later) took 
advantage of the king's death to attack what they 
viewed as a weak female ruler. A Rhodesian war ship 
attacked Artemisia I at a fortress in the town of Hali- 
carnassus soon after Artemisia had been crowned. 
The queen fought back gallantly. She divided her 
troops in half, leaving one squadron in ambush in the 
town, and led the remaining troops out of the city. 



She instructed the townspeople to surrender when 
the Rhodesians approached the city gate. 

When Artemisia received the signal that the 
Rhodesians had entered the city and reached the cen- 
tral market square, she launched a surprise attack 
against the Rhodesian ship anchored in the bay. Cap- 
turing — but not destroying — the ship, she advanced 
toward the city center. Meanwhile, her ambushed 
soldiers sprang up out of hiding, trapping the Rhode- 
sians between Artemisia's two forces. The brilliant 
strategy worked, and the surviving Rhodesians 
limped back to their island. 

Not satisfied, however, Artemisia pursued her 
offensive by sailing the captured ship back to Rhodes. 
As the ship approached the island, she hoisted victory 
flags around the deck. Fooled into thinking that the 
Rhodesian army had triumphed, the Rhodesians 
rushed to greet their heroes. Artemisia quickly routed 
them, handily capturing the entire island. 

Artemisia's quick intelligence served her well in 
the battle of Salamis. King Xerxes had gathered 
150,000 warriors (one of the largest forces gathered 
in antiquity) and a navy of more than 600 ships in 
preparation to conquer Greece. Faced with this vast 
force, many Greek islands either chose to remain 
neutral or to side with Xerxes. The southern Greek 
states opted to defend the mainland. 

In the spring of 480 B.C.E., Xerxes launched his 
invasion. His strategy was to march into Greece, 
destroy Athens, defeat the Greek army, and subject 
the Greek citizens to his rule. But the very vastness of 
his army proved to be a handicap; it was difficult to 
supply and control. 

The Greek army, though outnumbered, was better 
trained and equipped. The Persian invasion of Ther- 
mopylae succeeded, as the Greek army there could 
not resist. The Persians went on to occupy Athens, 
although its population had been evacuated to 
Salamis. The narrow strait between the Greek main- 
land and the island of Salamis provided the backdrop 
to the most decisive battle in the war between Greece 
and Persia. 

The Persian fleet, which was needed to outflank 
Greek defenses on the Isthmus of Corinth, was now 
ambushed and destroyed by the Greek navy at 



30 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Salamis. Xerxes watched the battle from his golden 
throne perched above the shore. Artemisia found her- 
self trapped between the Greek triremes (ancient 
Greek warships with three banks of oars on each 
side). She calmly and expertly rammed one of her 
own disarmed ships blocking her exit and escaped 
(but not before she rescued Xerxes' admiral brother). 
Believing her to be an ally, the trireme dropped its 
pursuit. While onshore, Xerxes declared "My men 
have become women, and women men." 

Since it had become clear that Greece could not 
now be conquered in a single campaign, Xerxes 
returned to Asia with half of his army; the remaining 
troops wintered in Greece only to be defeated deci- 
sively by a Greek army the following year. The Per- 
sian threat to Greece had been stopped. 

As the only one of Xerxes' naval officers to survive 
the defeat of the Persian armada, Artemisia won 
Xerxes' praise as his best general, along with a com- 
plete suit of armor. 

Further Reading 

Herodotus. The Histories. Robin Waterfield, trans. New 

York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 
Jones, David E. Women Warriors: A History. London: 

Brassey's Press, 1997. 
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. The Encyclopedia of Amazons: 

Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era. New 

York: Paragon House, 1991. 



A BAI, LAKSHMI (Rani of Jhansi) 

(c. 1834-1 858) Indian warrior 

Lakshmi Bai, also known as the rani of the principality 
of Jhansi in north central India, fought against the 
British takeover of her homeland (the word rani is 
short for maharani, or queen). Bai struggled against 
British oppression, but also in retaliation against 
British officials who had refused to acknowledge her 
adopted son as heir to the throne. Lakshmi Bai became 
a legendary heroine and an important symbol of brav- 
ery and resistance to British rule throughout India. 

The British had been in India for more than 200 
years before Lakshmi's birth. Merchant adventurers 
first established trade on the subcontinent in the 



17th century. ELIZABETH I and more than 200 
knights and merchants had gathered in London to 
form the East India Company in December 1600. 
The capitalists and their queen hoped to undercut 
the conquest of overseas markets begun by the 
Dutch. They failed to reach their goal in terms of 
trade, but the East India Company succeeded in 
establishing a military and political presence in India 
that endured for centuries. By the 19th century, how- 
ever, constant challenges to British rule began dis- 
rupting commerce. The Indian Mutiny, also known 
as the Sepoy Rebellion (1857-58), began with Indian 
soldiers in the Bengal army of the East Indian Com- 
pany but developed into a widespread rebellion 
against British rule. The British retaliated by institut- 
ing direct rule over India. 

To further expand British-controlled territory, 
colonial administrator Lord Dalhousie (1812-60) 
had implemented the doctrine of "lapse," which 
decreed that the British would annex the lands of any 
maharaja dying without a male heir. According to 
Hindu practice, a man needs a male heir to properly 
mourn his death and perform the necessary ancestral 
observances. This new British policy struck directly 
at the heart of India's practices regarding inheritance, 
and was widely condemned and hated throughout 
the subcontinent. 

Lakshmi Bai was born to a Brahmin, the highest 
caste among the Hindu in India, and named 
Manikarnika (Manu for short). Hindus interpreted 
her birth in the holy city of Varanasi favorably, as the 
holy Ganges River flows through the city. Manu's 
father, Moropant Tambe, had been an advisor to 
Chimnaji Appa, the brother of Baji Rao II, the last of 
the maharajas. Manu's mother, Bhagirathi, died when 
her daughter was still young. 

After the British deposed Baji Rao II, Moropant 
followed him to Bithur where he was put in charge of 
a military corps. Lacking female companionship and 
guidance, Manu grew up playing and fighting with 
her male companions. She learned to read and write 
at a time when girls even of the Brahmin caste did 
not become literate. She also became an adept horse- 
woman and gained skills at hunting and using swords 
and other weapons. 



31 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Her childhood did not last long, however, and 
soon Manu succumbed to one feminine obligation: 
she would have to marry a suitor chosen for her by 
her father. Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar of 
Jhansi, a 40- or 50-year-old widower, needed a young 
wife to secure a male heir. After consulting horo- 
scopes, Moropant agreed to marry Manu to Gangad- 
har Rao. Her father arranged the match in 1842, 
when Manu was about eight, although the actual cer- 
emony did not occur until 1849. At the time of her 
marriage, Manu chose the name Lakshmi, after the 
Hindu goddess of wealth and victory. 

Married life did not suit Lakshmi. Her husband 
confined her to court, watched her scrupulously, and 
prohibited her from playing outdoors. She chafed 
under purdah, the Indian practice of secluding 
women from men. Her husband, who was at least 25 
years older than she, was also aging rapidly. British 
sources confirm this by pointing out that his political 
judgment became unsound, that he meted out pun- 
ishment without justice, and that his petty demand 
to be saluted at every turn was widely ridiculed. 

Nevertheless, Lakshmi fulfilled her marital obliga- 
tion and gave birth to a son. Parading red-coated sol- 
diers and sugar-bearing elephants — bringing sweet 
news — filled the streets to celebrate the birth of the 
male heir to the throne. Sadly, the child died within 
three months. The grieving parents quickly adopted a 
newborn male relative of Gangadhar's, whom they 
named Damodar Rao. Gangadhar Rao died shortly 
after, leaving Lakshmi a widow at age 18. 

The governor-general of India, Lord Dalhousie, 
announced that since Gangadhar died without an heir, 
Jhansi would become a British protectorate. Lakshmi 
pleaded with authorities in London that Damodar 
Rao was Gangadhar's heir; that according to Hindu 
law, a biological or adopted son had an obligation to 
perform sacrifices after his fathers death to prevent his 
father from eternal damnation. Lakshmi reasoned that 
since Damodar had performed these rituals, he had 
proved that he was Gangadhar's rightful heir. 

After all appeals to Britain regarding Damodar Rao 
had been refused, Lakshmi put her girlhood training 
into practice. She assembled a volunteer army of 
14,000 insurgents and ordered them to defend the 



city. The British attacked Jhansi in 1858. The British 
noted Indian women manning weapons and carrying 
water and more ammunition to soldiers. Lakshmi was 
at the forefront of this activity. After a two-week siege, 
however, Jhansi fell to the British. A Bombay priest 
recorded the stench of burning flesh rising from the 
city after the British destroyed it, indicating that inno- 
cent civilians had been killed. British accounts, on the 
other hand, claimed that the British army killed 4,000 
Indian soldiers, and that civilians were spared. 

Lakshmi escaped the devastation. She and several 
other rebels rode more than 100 miles to a fortress at 
Kalpi, northeast of Jhansi. From Kalpi, Lakshmi and 
the surviving forces from Jhansi joined the battle 
against the British at Gwalior. Jhansi was killed dur- 
ing her second day of battle. 

Further Reading 

Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Ohrn, eds. Herstory: 

Women Who Changed the World. New York: Viking 

Press, 1995. 
Fraser, Antonia. The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the 

Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War. 

New York: Vintage Books, 1994. 
Lebra-Chapman, Joyce. The Rani of Jhansi: A Study in 

Temale Heroism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 

1986. 



A BOCANEGRA.GERTRUDIS 
(1775-1818) Mexican warrior 

According to writer Jerome R. Adams, "No one fought 
longer or harder than the Mexicans to win independ- 
ence. No nation sacrificed more of its leaders and more 
thousands of its people. And," he states further, "in no 
other independence movement did women play a 
more distinguished role." One of those warriors — and 
one sacrificed — was Gertrudis Bocanegra. 

Mexico's history as a colony began with the Span- 
ish conquistador Hernan Cortes (1485-1547), who 
defeated the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II in 1519 
in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). During the 
1540s, the Spaniards discovered silver mines in 
northern Mexico and established estates called 
haciendas nearby. The Creoles, descendants of the 



32 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Spanish settlers, used the power of the colonial gov- 
ernment to force indigenous Mexican Indians to 
work for them. Two centuries later, parish priest 
Miguel Hidalgo (1753-1811) fomented a popular 
rebellion against the Spanish colonizers. 

Hidalgo chose his moment wisely. In 1807, the 
French occupied Spain and imprisoned King Ferdi- 
nand VII, causing confusion and panic in New 
Spain, as Mexico was then called. Late on the night 
of September 15, 1810, Hidalgo called on Indians 
and mestizos, or people of mixed indigenous and 
European descent, to his church in Dolores, Mexico. 
He delivered a speech, known as the Grito de Dolores 
(cry of Dolores), demanding that Mexicans should 
govern Mexico. Today, Mexico's president rings a bell 
and repeats the cry in celebration of Independence 
Day, observed on September 16. 

The charismatic Hidalgo asked his ragtag bunch of 
rebels if they were ready and capable of reclaiming the 
land stolen from their ancestors by the Creoles. Armed 
with little other than crude spears and pitchforks, and 
carrying an icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe atop a 
staff, the fight for independence began. 

Little is known about precisely how Gertrudis 
Bocanegra joined the rebels. She was born in 
Patzcuaro, 160 miles west of Mexico City, to Creole 
parents. As her parents were probably merchants or 
landowners, Bocanegra likely enjoyed a degree of 
wealth and status in Patzcuaro. Furthermore, she mar- 
ried an ensign in the royal army, Lazo de la Vega. 
Given her prominence in the community, Bocanegras 
later agreement to fight for the cause of independence 
probably did not result from her own oppression as an 
individual. Perhaps Hidalgo's message of freedom 
appealed to her as a believer in a republican system of 
government, or as a Catholic, or perhaps the idea of 
freedom resonated with her as a woman. We can 
assume that Bocanegra sought reform for Mexico's 
indigenous population, since she had organized a 
school for Indian children in Patzcuaro. 

As Hidalgo's rebels marched onward from 
Dolores, their numbers soon grew to 80,000. A mas- 
sacre at his hometown of Guanajuato brought 
Hidalgo closer to his goal of Mexico City. At Val- 
ladolid (now Morelia), west of Patzcuaro, they 



stopped to reconnoiter. It was probably here that 
Bocanegra first encountered the rebels and decided to 
join them. Valladolid became Hidalgo's base for sup- 
plies and communication. Bocanegras husband and 
son both joined the insurgents, and Bocanegra began 
gathering supplies and carrying messages. 

On December 15, 1810, Hidalgo issued a state- 
ment calling for a congress of men that would over- 
throw the existing government in Mexico City and 
establish a new one. The new government would 
treat all inhabitants as equals, "with the kindness of 
fathers," and stimulate the flagging Mexican econ- 
omy, he declared (bad harvests in 1809, high unem- 
ployment, and rising food prices had exacerbated 
tensions between indigenous populations and the 
Creoles). Heeding the threat, on January 17, 1811, a 
Spanish officer led 6,000 soldiers against Hidalgo's 
army at Calderon Bridge, near Guadalajara. The bat- 
tle ended in Hidalgo's defeat. The priest and other 
leaders were taken to Chihuahua where Hidalgo, 
Ignacio Allende, and Juan de Aldama were executed 
and their heads mounted on the corners of a roof at 
Guanajuato. Spanish officials then offered a reward 
for every rebel brought before them. 

After Bocanegras husband and son were both 
killed in battle, she joined the patriotic forces herself, 
with her son-in-law. Eventually, she was sent back to 
Patzcuaro, where she organized an army of women 
warriors. There, she was identified and arrested. 
While she was in prison, guards asked her to name 
other rebels, but she refused. On November 1 1 , 
1818, Gertrudis Bocanegra was executed by a firing 
squad. After Hidalgo's death, Jose Maria Morelos 
continued the struggle for independence. In 1821, 
Juan de O'Donoju, the last viceroy of New Spain, 
was forced to sign the Treaty of Cordoba, acknowl- 
edging that independence had at last been won. 

Further Reading 

Adams, Jerome R. Notable Latin American Women: Twenty- 
Nine Leaders, Rebels, Poets, Battlers, and Spies, 
1500-1900. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 
Inc., 1995. 

Uglow, Jennifer. The Macmillan Dictionary of Women's 
Biography. London: Macmillan, 1998. 



33 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



A BONNEY, ANNE 

(1700-c. 1722) Irish pirate 

"If he had fought like a Man," remarked Anne Bon- 
ney of her supposed lover, Calico Jack Rackham, on 
the day of his execution, "he need not have been 
hang'd like a Dog." Eighteenth-century writers have 
hailed Captain Anne Bonney as the spunkiest and 
most notorious of women pirates. Captain Charles 
Johnson recorded Anne Bonney's exploits in A Gen- 
eral History of the Most Notorious Pyrates in 1724. The 
Jamaican Vice Admiralty Court convicted Captain 
Bonney — who apparently did fight like a man — of 
acts of piracy in 1721. Romance writers have created a 
mythology about Anne Bonney and her relationships 
with various male pirates, especially Calico Jack Rack- 
ham. In fact, her lover was fellow pirate Mary Read. 

Anne Bonney was born near Cork, Ireland, the 
illegitimate daughter of a prosperous lawyer and a 
serving wench. The scandal drove the couple and their 
daughter to Charleston, South Carolina, where Anne 
enjoyed a comfortable childhood. As she grew older, 
however, the confines of plantation society grew tire- 
some, and Bonney began seeking adventure. Against 
her father's wishes, she married a poor seaman, James 
Bonney, in 1718. The two sailed for the Providence 
Islands, south of the Bahamas and north of the 
Dominican Republic. The Providence Islands were a 
known haven for piracy in the early 18th century. 

Pirates, or people who attack and rob ships, had 
been illegally boarding ships and raiding coastal 
towns since ancient times. Piracy flourished in the 
16th through the 18th centuries on the Mediter- 
ranean and Caribbean seas. An estimated 1,000 to 
5,000 Anglo-American pirates cruised the seas in the 
18th century, looking for ships to plunder. Most sea- 
men became pirates seeking riches and adventure. 
Others left legitimate ship trade, or military navies, 
because of harsh treatment on board ships and 
because of poor pay. Although writers have mytholo- 
gized the adventurous life of pirates, most pirates 
probably lived rather miserable lives. Many died from 
alcoholism, while others died of disease from wounds 
left untreated. Other unfortunates were captured and 
died at the hands of authorities. 



Despite their reputation as outlaws, however, 
pirates actually developed rules and regulations to 
govern their ships. Crew members elected a ship's 
captain and other officers, and they drew up codes of 
punishment for misbehavior. They developed intri- 
cate pay scales to determine each member's share of 
the booty. Neophyte crew members were inducted 
into the techniques used to capture a ship. Pirates 
seized trade ships by maneuvering their ship next to 
the trade vessel. Ropes and hooks were then used to 
keep the ships together while the outlaws boarded the 
victim ship. Hand-to-hand combat usually resulted 
in the defeat of the trade ship crew, because pirate 
crews far outnumbered legitimate crews. Pirates then 
looted their victims. Romances often describe a 
stereotypical "walking the plank" method of dispos- 
ing of victims' bodies, but there is little evidence to 
suggest that such a ritual was typical. 

The details of Bonney's life from her marriage to 
James Bonney and her first forays into piracy are 
obscure, but sometime in 1718, Captain Anne Bon- 
ney captured a ship from Holland bound for the 
Caribbean. During the skirmish, Bonney observed 
Mary Read, disguised as a man, in a sword fight with 
another sailor. Both were terribly wounded when 
Read suddenly ended the duel by shooting her oppo- 
nent in the head. Bonney liked what she saw, and 
instinctively she knew the scrapper was a woman. 
The two became lovers, according to author David E. 
Jones, though they are often described as simply 
"good friends." 

The two women pirates returned to New Provi- 
dence, where one day Anne met a local dressmaker by 
the name of Pierre. The craftsman lamented his inabil- 
ity to make fine dresses with limited quantities of high- 
quality cloth. Bonney piqued his interest in piracy 
when she mentioned that, in her experience, the bolts 
of silks and velvets among many ships' cargoes would 
make fine gowns. Pierre expressed his desire to accom- 
pany Bonney and Read on their next excursion, pro- 
vided that his lover, Calico Jack Rackham (the moniker 
derived from the calico coat Pierre had sewn for him) 
be allowed to share the adventure. For Bonney, Pierre 
fashioned a pair of velvet trousers made with silver coin 
buttons. The outfit became her trademark. 



34 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



The four allegedly made a successful team of 
pirates. In their most notorious escapade, Bonney's 
crew had successfully captured a merchant ship con- 
taining several trunks of fancy dresses to be delivered 
to a whorehouse in Boston. Bonney ordered rounds 
of drinks for all to celebrate the loot, and, in the ine- 
briation that ensued, several sailors — male and 
female — donned the gowns as a joke. Later that 
evening, Bonney spied another merchant ship on the 
horizon and quickly planned her next scheme. She 
called "all hands on deck" and instructed the sailors 
to hide their weapons, lie down on the deck, and 
daub their faces with red paint to make it appear as 
though the ship had been attacked and all aboard 
killed. The ploy worked: the commandos on the 
oncoming boat prepared to board Bonney's vessel, 
when her crew suddenly sprang to life, surprised the 
would-be looters, and successfully subdued them. 

In 1820 Bonney and her three mates retired to an 
estate in Jamaica, but, as other pirates harbored ill 
will and a vengeful spirit toward them, they were 
eventually captured by a government ship in October 
1820. The four were condemned to hang for their 
lives of crime. Mary Read died of pneumonia in 
prison. Anne Bonney made a false plea of pregnancy 
that spared her life. The details of the remainder of 
her life are lost. 

Further Reading 

Clement, Jesse. Noble Deeds of Women. Buffalo, N.Y.: 

Derby and Company, 1851. 
Jones, David E. Women Warriors: A History. London: 

Brassey's Press, 1997. 
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. The Encyclopedia of Amazons: 

Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era. New 

York: Paragon House, 1991. 



A BOUBOULINA, LASKARINA 

(c. 1771-1845) Greek sea captain 

Seafarer Laskarina Bouboulina commanded a fleet of 
ships during the Greek War for Independence 
(1821-28) against the Ottoman Empire. An adept 
helmsman and shrewd strategist, Bouboulina 
attacked Turkish troops in two cities, set up a block- 



ade of the Aegean coast, and helped to liberate a 
Turkish stronghold. Bouboulina prevented Greek 
soldiers from seeking revenge upon Turkish women 
held as prisoners by releasing them and granting 
them passage to return home. 

Because war has traditionally been considered 
"men's work," female warriors have been overlooked 
by historians. Freedom-fighter Laskarina Bouboulina's 
life remains shrouded in mystery. Although some 
regard her as a heroine, little is known of her life. 
What we do know of Laskarina Bouboulina is that she 
hailed from the Greek island of Spetsai; that her father 
and both of her husbands were wealthy seamen who 
died at the hands of pirates; and that she played an 
important role in the Greek War of Independence 
against the Ottoman Empire. Other details of her life 
can be snatched here and there, but no definitive 
sources exist. 

The Ottoman Empire represented the rising 
power of the Muslim world in the Middle Ages. In 
the 15th century, the Muslim Ottoman ruler Sultan 
Muhammad II (1432-81) seized the seat of the 
decaying Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, and 
then turned his eye toward the Middle East. At the 
height of its power, under Suleiman I (r. 1520-66), 
the Ottoman Empire controlled much of the Middle 
East and North Africa, Southeast Europe, and the 
eastern Mediterranean. But by the end of the 18th 
century, the Muslim world was in decline. The 
Ottoman Empire lost its vigor and was showing signs 
of internal decay, due to factions among the ruling 
elite and divisive forces in the empire at large. Under 
CATHERINE THE GREAT, Russia expanded southward, 
defeating the Turks, gaining some land, and protect- 
ing Greek Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman 
Empire. By the start of the 19th century, nationalist 
revolts by Serbians and Greeks challenged the unity 
of the Ottoman Empire. With the help of Great 
Britain and Russia, Greek rebels launched the War 
for Independence in 1821. 

Laskarina (her birth surname is unknown) married 
Captain Bouboulis and, upon his death, took over the 
command of his ships, along with her brothers and 
sons. (Other histories claim that she built her own fleet 
in secret, and, when the Ottomans discovered it, they 



35 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



threatened to confiscate the ships. Bouboulina report- 
edly appealed to the Turkish Sultans mother, who con- 
vinced the Sultan to allow Bouboulina to retain her 
fleet.) In any case, it is her command of her warships 
that guarantees Bouboulina her place in history. 

As Bouboulina took the helm of her ship, her crew 
paid her respect by calling her "Capitanissa." She 
beseiged Monemvasia and Nauplia, both coastal cities 
in the Peloponnesian region of Greece, and blockaded 
the entire northern Aegean coast. She then went to 
Tripolis, an inland city in Peloponnesos that served as 
the Ottoman administrative center, to aid in that 
city's liberation. Some historians describe her tri- 
umphant entry into the city, on horseback, at the 
head of a liberating army. What she did next infuri- 
ated her countrymen, which may explain her relative 
obscurity. But her deed also brought attention to 
women's plight in war. 

The Ottoman commander, Khurshid Pasha, was 
unable to defend Tripolis; he had been called away 
to fight a battle in Yannitsa, in northern Greece. 
When the Greek army routed the Turkish defense in 
Tripolis, they took revenge on the women of the 
Turkish harems. When the women heard of 
Bouboulina's arrival, they pleaded with her to help 
them escape the vengeance of the Greek soldiers. 
Bouboulina agreed. She is said to have appealed to 
her countrymen, not as a captain, but as a mother, 
explaining to them that the Turkish women were 
guiltless in the war and should therefore be spared. 
The Greek soldiers set fire to the fortress, and in the 
ensuing confusion, Bouboulina was able to steer 
many of the women on board a ship, which carried 
them safely to the coast of Asia Minor. (Other his- 
torians describe this occurrence as a simple deal 
between Bouboulina and the Turkish women: they 
asked her for safe passage, in return for their jewelry 
and other riches; she agreed and helped them 
escape.) In either case, the incident is a stark 
reminder of the innocent victims of war. 

The events surrounding Bouboulina's death are 
unknown. As a warrior, Laskarina Bouboulina helped 
to free a Greek city from enemy occupation. As a 
woman warrior, she repudiated the act of rape — often 
the means by which soldiers seek revenge in war. 



Further Reading 

Stanley, Jo, ed. Bold in Her Breeches: Women Pirates Across 
the Ages. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. 



A BOUDICCA (Boudica; Boadicea) 

(d. 62 C.E.) Icenian queen and warrior 

Queen Boudicca, ruler of an almost-forgotten Celtic 
tribe living in present-day Norfolk and Suffolk in 
eastern Britain, joined the forces of her Iceni people 
with other British tribes and led them in a revolt 
against their Roman overlords. Though defeated, 
Boudicca's valor in battle gives the lie to the notion 
that women will not — or cannot — fight as aggres- 
sively as men. According to the ancient Roman histo- 
rian Tacitus (c. 55-120 C.E.), Boudicca's motivations 
came not from her prestigious lineage, nor her desire 
to recover her kingdom and its plunder. Instead, she 
fought for the cause of liberty, and to avenge the 
humiliation the Roman centurions had caused her 
and her daughters. "This," she reminded her troops 
as they stood ready to fight, "is not the first time that 
the Britons have been led to battle by a woman." 

The Roman Empire began to expand overseas in 
the 200s B.C.E. In the 60s, Roman general Pompey 
(see CLEOPATRA) conquered eastern Asia Minor, 
Syria, and Judaea. He returned to Rome a hero, but 
the Roman Senate refused to acknowledge his victo- 
ries. During the First Triumvirate, formed in 57 
B.C.E. , Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Crassus 
shared power. Julius Caesar went on to conquer Gaul 
(present-day France) west of the Rhine River and then 
invaded England, but he soon turned back. Fearing 
his power, Pompey called Caesar back to Rome. 
Refusing to give up his power, Caesar marched his 
troops across the Rubicon, a stream that separated 
Italy from Gaul, and invaded Italy in 49 B.C.E., 
defeating Pompey. 

During the following 150 years, the Roman Empire 
grew little until the Emperor Claudius (10 B.C.E— 54 
C.E.) invaded Britain for the second time. This time, 
native tribes rebelled against the invasion but were sub- 
dued. The Iceni surrendered to the Romans but created 
a joint government with their conquerors. 



36 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



The queen was born into a royal Iceni family. She 
married Prasutagus, king of the Iceni tribe, with 
whom she had two daughters, Camorra and Tasca. 
Trade between the Iceni and the Roman Empire 
flourished; Iceni silver coins were minted between 65 
B.C.E. and 61 C.E. When Prasutagus submitted to the 
Romans, he made an arrangement with them that 
allowed him to remain in his kingdom as regent. He 
attempted to insure continued peace and prosperity 
between the two powers by leaving half of his king- 
dom to the Roman Empire and half to Boudicca, 
Camorra, and Tasca. He also stipulated that his queen 
was to succeed him as regent. While British law 
allowed royal inheritance to be passed to daughters in 
the absence of a male heir, Roman law made no such 
provisions. When Prasutagus died in 60, the Roman 
governor and military commander Suetonius Pauli- 
nus (died 69) ignored his will and proceeded to take 
control of Boudicca's Iceni kingdom. "Kingdom and 
household alike were plundered like prizes of war," 
wrote Tacitus, ". . . his widow Boudicca was flogged 
and their daughters raped. The chieftains of the Iceni 
were deprived of their family estates as if the whole 
country had been handed over to the Romans. The 
king's own relatives were treated like slaves." 

Boudicca began recruiting an army in retaliation. 
She organized about 120,000 soldiers from her tribe 
and from the Trinovantes, a southern tribe. She then 
procured bronze and iron weapons, light chariots, and 
horses. She carefully planned her attack to coincide 
with Suetonius Paulinus's departure for "Wales, where 
he was subduing another revolt. Her army sacked and 
burned the Roman colony Camulodunum (present- 
day Colchester) and destroyed a temple that had been 
erected to worship the Roman Emperor Claudius. The 
Romans sent a cadre of soldiers to defend their hold- 
ings, but Boudicca's army turned them back. The 
insurgents then marched on to Londinium (present- 
day London) and Verulanium (St. Albans), killing 
Romans and burning buildings. Suetonius Paulinus 
gathered all Roman troops in Britain and surrounded 
the rebels in a narrow valley. 

The Romans slaughtered the rebels; 80,000 died. 
Boudicca fled to her kingdom, where she and her 
daughters ended their lives by drinking poison. Pub- 



lius Petronius Turpilianus, who appeased local popula- 
tions instead of requiring their submission, succeeded 
Suetonius Paulinus in 69 C.E. Roman occupation of 
Britain ended in the fourth century C.E. 

Both the English and the Romans regard Boudicca 
as a hero. In 1902, the British sculptor T Thornycroft 
created a bronze statue of Boudicca, Camorra, and 
Tasca riding a chariot into battle. "All this ruin was 
brought upon the Romans by a woman," wrote Roman 
historian Dio Cassius (155-235 C.E.), "a fact which in 
itself caused them the greatest shame." 

Further Reading 

Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Ohrn, eds. Herstory: 
Women Who Changed the World. New York: Viking 
Press, 1995. 

Meltzer, Milton. Ten Queens: Portraits of Women in Power. 
New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1998. Young Adult. 

Tacitus, Cornelius. Annals. Trans. Clifford H. Moore. Lon- 
don: W. Heinemann, 1925—37. 

Webster, Graham. Boudica: The British Revolt Against Rome 
AD 60. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978. 



A BO U PACHA, DJAMILA 

(1942— ) Algerian nationalist and terrorist 

Algerian police arrested Djamila Boupacha in 1961, 
after accusing her of throwing a bomb at a cafe near the 
University of Algiers. Guards at two different Algerian 
prisons, El-Biar and Hussein Dey, tortured her with 
electric shock, cigarette burns, kicks, and rape during 
her imprisonment. The sadistic treatment Boupacha 
and other Algerian prisoners suffered turned many 
French citizens and human rights activists around the 
world against the French in their fight to retain their 
Algerian colony during the Algerian War for Indepen- 
dence (1954-62). The government released Boupacha 
after Algeria declared its independence from France in 
1962. Her torturers were also released in a general 
amnesty. Since her discharge, she has become a national 
hero and women's rights activist. 

The story of Algerian colonization and independ- 
ence is itself a tortuous path. French soldiers invaded 
and gained control over northern Algerian cities in 
1830, which were inhabited by Arabs and Berbers, 



37 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Algeria's two main ethnic groups. The French king 
Charles X hoped that an overseas victory would bol- 
ster his rule at home. To strengthen its hold on Alge- 
ria, the French government gave large amounts of 
land to European settlers — who became known as 
colons — enabling them to gain control over most of 
Algeria's economy. As a further incentive all non- 
French settlers were granted immediate French citi- 
zenship. Rebel forces in Algeria resisted French 
domination. However, in 1847, French soldiers 
defeated the fiercest Muslim uprising in the history 
of the colony, led by religious leader Abd al-Qadir 
(1807-83). By 1914, on the eve of World War I 
(1914-18), France had colonized all of Algeria. 

After World War II (1939-45), when all Algeri- 
ans' attempts at gaining a voice in government were 
blocked by colons, nationalist forces began calling for 
independence. By 1954, France had been forced to 
withdraw from its colony in Vietnam after the disas- 
trous battle of Dien Bien Phu. France's military forces 
were then moved from Vietnam to Algeria, its largest 
and oldest colony. By 1956, more than 500,000 
French soldiers had been deployed in Algeria. Mean- 
while, Algerian nationalists formed the Front de 
Liberation Nationale (FLN). The organization car- 
ried out numerous bombings, assassinations, and 
raids against colons and French military forces in 
Algeria. In retaliation, French soldiers destroyed 
crops and orchards and herded Algerians into con- 
centration camps, torturing rebel leaders. 

Boupacha was born into a middle-class family, the 
daughter of a well-off businessman. Her parents were 
French citizens, and they sent their daughter Djamila 
to school in France. She attended a French vocational 
school in preparation for becoming a seamstress. The 
Algerian War for Independence cut her studies short, 
however. Like many young, educated Algerians, 
Boupacha became involved in the nationalist upris- 
ings. Boupacha's arrest, imprisonment, and torture 
coincided with French intellectuals' call for an end to 
the war and to use of barbarism against the enemy in 
wartime. The philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone 
de BEAUVOIR, Andre Breton, and Simone Signoret 
issued their "Manifesto of the 121," and the historian 
Pierre Vidal Vaquet pilloried torture as an embarrass- 



ing break with France's liberal tradition in his book 
Torture in the Republic (1962). 

Gisele Halimi (1927- ), Boupacha's defense attor- 
ney, teamed up with Simone de Beauvoir to write a 
book about her client in 1962. Halimi paints an 
intriguing portrait of this middle-class, French- 
educated young woman. Based upon extensive inter- 
views with her, Halimi describes two Boupachas: one is 
a compelling, honest, and frightened young girl, con- 
cerned that she will never marry because Berber men 
prefer virgins. The other Boupacha is a staunch, vigor- 
ous militant who is proud of her role within the FLN. 

A group of French intellectuals, moved particularly 
by allegations of the French military's sexual brutality 
against women, and by racist acts during the Algerian 
War for Independence, formed the Djamila Boupacha 
Committee. The committee launched a public opinion 
campaign to defend the civil rights of Boupacha. The 
Djamila Boupacha Committee included Halimi, Beau- 
voir, and sympathetic French intellectuals Francois 
Mauriac and Germaine Tillion. Halimi convinced the 
government to rescue Boupacha from the Algerian mil- 
itary jail and to investigate the charges of brutality and 
assault made against the French military (no convic- 
tions resulted from the investigation). In the meantime, 
Boupacha became famous; a portrait Pablo Picasso 
(1881-1973) painted of her appeared on the cover of 
JeuneAfrique in February 1962. 

In 1962, a plebescite held in Algeria resulted in the 
declaration of Algerian independence from France. The 
following year, rebel leader Ahmed Ben Bella (1916- ) 
became Algeria's first president. Bella proclaimed Alge- 
ria a socialist state, urging Algerians to take over the 
farms and businesses abandoned by colons. The gov- 
ernment began a massive program to industrialize the 
nation, financed by government-owned natural gas and 
petroleum industries. The 1962 constitution guaran- 
teed equality between the sexes and granted women 
voting rights (the French had instituted woman suf- 
frage in 1958). The constitution also made Islam the 
state religion and declared Arabic the official language. 
Since then, control of Algeria has wavered between 
socialist politicians and Islamic fundamentalists. 

Historians dispute how the Algerian Revolution 
affected women. Voters elected 10 women deputies of 



38 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



the new National Assembly in 1963. One Lebanese 
journalist, writing in 1971, however, criticized the post- 
war society created by nationalist men as simply insti- 
tuting a new colony: men ruling women. Others 
acknowledge that inequality exists between the sexes, 
but that the immediate postwar period had brought 
gains for Algerian women, which have since been 
eroded. Peter R. Krauss describes the small group of 
female revolutionaries as "having exploded the myth 
that women do not have the physical or psychic poten- 
tial equivalent to . . . men." 

Boupacha took part in the heady atmosphere of 
the early period after independence. "Pictures 
showed women in their robes, veiled and unveiled," 
writes David Gordon, "proudly voting and serving 
as deputies in the National Assembly. Djamila 
Boupacha, on the outskirts of Algiers, was applauded 
when she harangued a crowd on the future of 
women." By passing the Family Act in 1984, how- 
ever, the National Assembly placed women under the 
tutelage of their husbands; the future of women at 
that point seemed dark, indeed. (For more on the 
Family Act, see Djamila BOUHIRED.) 

Further Reading 

Beauvoir, Simone de, and Gisele Halimi. Djamila 

Boupacha. New York: Macmillan, 1962. 
Gordon, David C. Women of Algeria: An Essay on Change. 

Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968. 
Krauss, Peter R. The Persistence of Patriarchy: Class, Gender, 

and Ideology in Twentieth-Century Algeria. Westport, 

Conn.: Praeger, 1987. 
Lazreg, Marnia. The Eloquence of Silence: Algerian Women 

in Question. New York: Routledge, 1994. 



A BUNKE,TAMARA (Tania the Guerrilla; 
Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider) 

(1937-1967) GermanlCubanl Argentine 
revolutionary 

"Tamara lived all of her life with intensity," commented 
her friend Raul Sarmineto. "Her life as a guerrilla which 
was an obsession for her must have been the same way." 
Tamara Bunke was the only woman to join the leg- 
endary leftist rebel Ernesto "Che" Guevara (1928-67) 



on his last, fateful revolutionary mission in Bolivia, 
where she and eight other guerrilla fighters were killed 
in an attempt to export a Cuban-style revolution to 
Bolivia. Bunke's body was buried in a remote corner of 
Bolivia. During the 40th anniversary of the Cuban rev- 
olution (1956-58) in 1998, workers exhumed Bunke's 
body, cremated it, and filled an urn with her ashes. The 
urn was flown to Cuba, where it was displayed in a civic 
building in downtown Santa Clara. Days later, Bunke's 
ashes were buried with state honors at a mausoleum 
alongside Guevara and other Cuban revolutionaries. 

Tamara Bunke was born Haydee Tamara Bunke 
Bider on November 19, 1937, to Nadja and Erich 
Bunke, who had fled Nazi Germany and settled in 
Argentina. After World War II (1939-45), Bunke's 
communist parents returned to Germany to participate 
in the creation of the German Democratic Republic. 
Bunke became a member of the United Socialist Party 
of Germany when she turned 18. Her parents imbued 
her with the notion that ethnic and national identity 
should take a back seat to the inevitable communist 
revolution. Like all communists at the time, Bunke 
believed that the proletariat, or working classes, would 
eventually rise up against the upper or capitalist classes 
in a worldwide revolution. Property would be commu- 
nally (instead of privately) held, eliminating the class 
divisions that caused the unequal distribution of wealth 
in capitalist societies. Tamara Bunke dedicated her life 
to the revolution. In January 1959, she wrote to her 
friends, "We are thrilled about the news coming from 
Cuba [where socialist rebels had overthrown the dicta- 
tor Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar] and are constantly 
watching for dispatches from there. The struggle of the 
Cuban people is truly an example for all Latin America 
and for the world." Bunke met Che Guevara when he 
traveled to the German Democratic Republic as part of 
a Cuban trade delegation. Impressed with his efforts, 
she joined Guevara's revolutionary band, and in May 
1961 she left Germany to live in Cuba, a nation that 
had always fascinated her. 

Cuba had become a socialist republic in 1959, when 
Fidel Castro (1926- ) became premier. Sixty years 
earlier, the United States had defeated Spanish coloniz- 
ers in Cuba and established its own military rule in the 
tiny island nation until 1902. From 1902 until 1934, 



39 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



the United States controlled much of Cuba's land and 
economy while a series of Cuban dictators presided as 
president. In 1934, the United States retreated from 
Cuba, retaining only its Guantanamo Bay naval base. 
Cuba's economy prospered largely because of its sugar 
trade with the United States. However, due to govern- 
ment corruption, most Cubans lived in poverty. Social- 
ist Castro stirred up popular discontent into a two-year 
guerrilla war against dictator Fulgencio Batista, which 
Castro won in 1958 with the help of Che Guevara. 
Castro became Cuba's premier; Guevara became Cuba's 
minister of industry and directed much of the govern- 
ment's economic planning. 

Castro initiated extensive economic and social 
reforms along socialist principles, including the 
nationalization of banking and industry — many 
owned by the United States — and the creation of 
rural cooperatives, causing the United States to break 
off diplomatic ties. He allied himself with the 
U.S.S.R. and other communist countries. Relations 
with the United States further deteriorated when 
United States-trained and led soldiers attempted to 
invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and Presi- 
dent John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita 
Khrushchev went eye-to-eye over the Cuban Missile 
Crisis (1962). It was into this atmosphere that Bunke 
arrived in the spring of 1961. 

While in Cuba, Bunke took journalism classes in 
Havana. Later, she worked as a translator for the Min- 
istry of Education, the Cuban Institute of Friendship 
with the Peoples, and in the Federation of Cuban 
Women. Her ultimate goal, however, was to learn 
about the Cuban Revolution and export it elsewhere 
in Latin America. By 1962, she had grown restless at 
her translating job, and she commented that this was 
not the kind of revolutionary work to which she had 
aspired. Since 1957, Bunke had taken up marksman- 
ship and military training with the idea of ultimately 
participating in a revolution. She trained in the Ger- 
man Democratic Republic Association for Sports and 
Skills, which included mastery of defense sports, send- 
ing Morse Code messages, and operating radio equip- 
ment. Because she had been born in Argentina, she 
spoke Spanish fluently. As a blond, blue-eyed woman, 
she could assume different identities. 



Bunke traveled to Brazil to learn various intelli- 
gence-gathering techniques that would be used to 
gather information on foreign governments. She 
learned how to write invisibly, how to obtain data and 
check data undercover, and how to identify counterin- 
telligence. After her yearlong training period, she met 
with Guevara in March 1964. Guevara told her that 
she would be sent to Bolivia to make contacts with the 
Bolivian government and armed forces and travel 
through the interior to study the situation of miners, 
peasants, and workers. In late 1964, she was ready to 
assume her new identity. She flew to La Paz, Bolivia, as 
Laura Guitierez Bauer, an ethnologist studying Boli- 
vian folklore. She married a Bolivian man and then 
divorced him after obtaining citizenship. 

In May 1966, Bunke took on a new identity, 
Tania, in communicating with revolutionaries in 
Cuba, who were now prepared to ignite the revolu- 
tion in Bolivia. Lacking sufficient recruits among the 
Bolivian people, Che Guevara and his followers nev- 
ertheless decided to go ahead with their plans. Unfor- 
tunately, Guevara had revealed his indentity too 
quickly once he arrived in Bolivia, which ultimately 
tipped off suspicious members of the Bolivian army, 
who in turn brought in the U.S. Central Intelligence 
Agency (the agency involved in the botched Bay of 
Pigs invasion of Cuba a few years earlier) . 

On August 31, 1967, Tamara Bunke marched 
next-to-last in a line of guerrilla troops crossing the 
cold waters of the Vado del Yeso River. Bunke car- 
ried an M-l rifle over her head and a knapsack on 
her back. Bolivian soldiers waiting in ambush 
across the river suddenly fired a volley of shots, 
killing all eight soldiers. Bunke's badly decomposed 
body was found seven days later and was flown to 
Vallegrande, Bolivia. 

"The Bolivian fiasco," wrote historian James D. 
Henderson, "was a brief, tragicomic saga of highly 
trained revolutionaries who committed every incon- 
ceivable error on their way to ignominious destruc- 
tion." The Bolivian people, he commented further, 
were largely happy with their own Bolivian Revolu- 
tion of 1952. Tamara Bunke's story tells us that revo- 
lutionary social change more likely succeeds in a 
nation when it originates at home. 



40 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Further Reading 

Henderson, James D., and Linda Roddy Henderson. Ten 
Notable Women of Latin America. Chicago: Nelson- 
Hall, 1978. 

Rojas, Marta. Tania, The Unforgettable Guerrilla. New 
York: Random House, 1971. 

"Tania the Guerrilla Flown to Santa Clara" Calgary Herald, 
Dec. 29, 1998, p. A5. 



A DARLING, GRACE (Grace Horsely 
Darling) 

(1815-1842) British heroine 

Go, tell the wide world over 
What English pluck can do; 
And sing of brave Grace Darling 
Who nobly saved the crew. 

The lyrics to "The Grace Darling Song" recite the sole 
act for which the British people ennobled their heroine 
Grace Darling. She helped her father, William Dar- 
ling, rescue the shipwrecked passengers and crew of 
the steamer Forfashirem 1838. Celebrated by the Eng- 
lish press and fawned over by her fans, Grace Darling 
was in some ways the forerunner of another British 
icon, opera star Jenny LIND, who a decade later 
became one of the first celebrities in modern history. 
Unlike Jenny Lind, however, Grace Darling shunned 
the attention her deed provoked. Jenny Lind, on the 
other hand, thought celebrity simply ridiculous. 

Grace Darling, born on November 24, 1815, to 
the lighthouse keeper William Darling, spent all of her 
short life living in lighthouses on the rocky shores of 
the islands off the British mainland. Lighthouses had 
been in use as navigational aids for mariners for thou- 
sands of years. In the 19th century, lighthouses helped 
sailors determine their position, informed them that 
land was near, and warned them of dangerous rocks 
and reefs. There are only about 1,400 lighthouses cur- 
rently in use worldwide, due to increases in electronic 
navigational devices. Grace was born on the island of 
Brownsman, but when she turned 1 1 , her family 
moved to Longstone, Northumberland. Grace, the 
sixth of seven children born to the Darlings, and her 
father and her mother, Thomasin Horsely Darling, 



were the only three occupants of the lighthouse in 
1838, when the life-changing event took place. 

The Forfashire, one of the first luxury steamers in 
British maritime history, carried 60 passengers and 
crew members as it made its way from Hull, north of 
London, to Dundee, in eastern Scotland during the 
night of September 6 and 7, 1838. When the steamer 
was caught in a violent storm off the coast of Northum- 
berland, near Big Hawker Rock on the Fame Islands, a 
powerful gust dashed the ship upon rocky cliffs. Eight 
crew members and one male passenger escaped with 
the ship's lifeboat. A passing sloop picked the sodden 
sailors up and dropped them in nearby North Shields. 

Meanwhile, William Darling's 20-year-old daugh- 
ter Grace shook the sleep from him at seven o'clock 
in the morning. She saw figures moving about on Big 
Hawker Rock, she told him, about three-quarters of a 
mile from Longstone lighthouse. William and Grace 
launched their coble — a short, flat-bottomed row- 
boat — with the help of Thomasin Darling. Father 
and daughter rowed out to Big Hawker Rock. When 
they reached the rock, Grace rowed as close as she 
could so that her father could jump ashore. When he 
did, she continued to navigate the coble away from 
the rock to prevent the current and the wind from 
smashing the boat on the rock. She labored to keep 
the boat afloat, until her father beckoned her back to 
the rock to pick up him and his weary passengers. 

William Darling found nine people on the rock: 
four crew members and five passengers of the For- 
fashire. Two had already died, probably from expo- 
sure. Of the remaining seven, Darling helped five 
people into the coble when Grace maneuvered it back 
to the rock: two injured people and three men who 
could help row the boat back out to the rock to rescue 
the remaining two. When the ordeal was over, Grace 
and her mother nursed the injured and exhausted 
back to health. 

The printed press helped foment the legend of 
Grace Darling. Newspaper accounts of her deed 
spread quickly throughout England, and eventually 
throughout Europe, rendering the shy, retiring Grace 
Darling into "the lighthouse heroine." At the same 
time, the press investigated the accident, especially the 
events surrounding the lifeboat escape of the eight 



41 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



crew members, who did nothing, reporters charged, 
to try to aid the others. 

As a result of all the publicity, William and Grace 
Darling became the subjects of numerous portraits 
painted by several English artists. By October 17, 
1838, William Darling had had enough. He sent a 
letter to the London Times, in which he wrote, "Please 
to acquaint the Public in your paper that within the 
last twelve days I and my daughter have sat to no less 
than seven portrait painters ... it is attended with a 
great deal of inconvenience; it would require me to 
have nothing else to do; therefore hopes the Public 
will be satisfied [to obtain portraits already done]." 
When all was said and done, Grace Darling became 
the subject of miniature ceramic statues; her likeness 
appeared on boxes of chocolates; and she appeared in 
a series of Staffordshire pottery pieces. She was 
invited to appear at the Adelphi Theater, in Tondon, 
at a stage production of her story (she declined). 

Grace Darling died of consumption (tuberculosis) 
on October 20, 1842, at the age of 26. Much of the 
story of the Forfashire disaster comes to us from 
William Darling's lighthouse journal which he kept 
at his bedside. A printed version of the journal is now 
housed at the Grace Darling Museum in the village 
of Bamburgh, on the British mainland, where Grace 
Darling was buried. William Darling's entry on the 
night of September 7, 1838, in which he recounts 
the rescue, does not mention his daughter at all. 

Further Reading 

Armstrong, Richard. Grace Darling: Maid and Myth. Lon- 
don: J. M. Dent, 1965. 

Mitford, Jessica. Grace Had an English Heart. New York: 
E. P. Dutton, 1989. 

Smedly, Constance. Grace Darling and Her Times. London: 
Hurst & Blacken, 1932. 



A DEBORAH ("Mother of Israel") 

(12th century B.C.E.) Hebrew judge and 
military leader 

The ancient Hebrew people called upon Deborah, 
also known as the "Mother of Israel," to guide them 
in their war against the Canaanites some 13th cen- 



turies before the birth of Christ. Deborah functioned 
as a judge of the Hebrews, as well as their political 
and military adviser. "When she became aware of the 
cruel treatment her people suffered under Canaanite 
rule, she outlined a plan of action. She instructed 
General Barak to raise an army of 10,000 troops and 
lead them into battle against their oppressors. The 
verbal exchange between General Barak and Debo- 
rah is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of 
Judges 4:8-9. 

"If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if 
thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she 
said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the 
journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; 
for the Lord shall sell Sisera [the Canaanite general] 
into the hand of a woman." 

The Hebrews are the ancient ancestors of the Jewish 
people. According to the Hebrew Bible, God directed 
Abraham, who had been living in Mesopotamia (now 
southeastern Iraq) around 1800 to 1500 B.C.E., to set- 
de in Canaan, the area now known as Palestine. Abra- 
ham became the patriarch of the people who came to 
be called Hebrews, or Israelites. 

The Hebrews divide their Bible, written in the 
Hebrew language except for sections of the books of 
Ezra and Daniel, written in Aramaic, into three parts: 
the Pentateuch, the Writings, and the Prophets. The 
Pentateuch (a Greek word meaning five books) con- 
sists of the creation story found in Genesis and the 
books that explain the laws that became the basis of 
Judaism. The "Writings include the poetry of the 
Psalms and the Song of Solomon and wisdom books 
such as Job. The Prophet books recount stories of the 
Hebrew prophets, whose function was to warn the 
Hebrew people of the consequences of sin and to 
exort them to renew their religious faith. The book of 
Judges appears among the prophetical books. 

Judges records the history of the Hebrew people 
from the 12th century through the ninth century 
B.C.E. The people referred to as Judges in Hebrew 
culture were not judges in the modern sense; that is, 
they did not render legal decisions or determine pun- 
ishments for crimes committed. Rather, they were 
those whom God had called to lead the tribe of Israel 
during critical times. Several judges, including Debo- 



42 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



rah, were also military leaders who advised the tribes 
where and when they should go into battle. 

Chapters 1-3 of Judges tell the history of the 
Israelites' conquest of Canaan, later known as Pales- 
tine. The Canaanites had settled the area around 
2000 B.C.E. Around 1200 B.C.E., the Hebrews dis- 
placed them, according to the Hebrew Bible (archae- 
ological evidence, and some biblical passages, 
indicate that the Hebrews only gradually came to 
dominate the area). The second section of the book 
of Judges, chapters 4-16, records the stories of vari- 
ous judges at the time, including Deborah, Gideon, 
and Samson. The final part, chapters 17-25, explains 
the conflicts between two rival Hebrew tribes, the 
Danites and the Benjaminites. 

The Canaanites, according to the Hebrew Bible, 
were under the command of Jabon, their king. For 
20 years Jabon had oppressed the children of Israel by 
destroying their vineyards, dishonoring their women, 
and murdering their children. Now, the Canaanites 
planned on conquering the Israelites by severing con- 
nections between the Israelites in Galilee and those in 
the central hill country of Ephraim and Manasseh. In 
the face of impending doom, many Israelites had 
turned to the worship of idols. 

Deborah was called upon to lead her people into 
war. However, word of the enemy's 900 iron chariots 
caused the Israelites to cower with fear and accept 
their fate. Deborah felt a call to rise up against such 
fear and complacency, for she carried in her heart a 
fervent hope that God would come to her people's 
rescue, provided that they honor him. 

She quickly summoned General Barak from his 
home in Kedesh. Together they worked out a plan of 
action against the enemy. Deborah directed him to go 
toward Mount Tabor and take 3,000 men of the chil- 
dren of Naphtali and Zebulun, according to Judges 4:6. 
She convinced Barak that the Lord would deliver the 
Canaanite General Sisera and his chariots into their 
hands. When Barak called upon the tribes of Naphtali 
and Zebulun to muster at Kedesh, he saw that none 
was well armed and none commanded chariots. 

The battle took place near Mount Tabor on the 
Esdraelon plains. A heavy rainstorm aided the 
Israelite army by trapping the chariots of the Canaan- 



ite army in a mud bath. Sisera narrowly escaped by 
leaving his chariot and fleeing on foot. Deborah 
secured the assistance of Jael, the wife of a tribal gen- 
eral supposedly allied with Sisera. Jael lured Sisera 
into her tent and, after lulling him to sleep, drove a 
stake through his head. In true ancient warrior fash- 
ion, she proudly displayed his body to General Barak 
(for a similar incident, see Artemesia GENTILESCHI, 
who painted the story of the Hebrew heroine Judith). 

Musicians quickly composed a tune and lyrics in 
honor of Deborah. Deborah's song of victory com- 
memorating the battle with Jabon's forces is recorded in 
Judges 5 and is one of the oldest Hebrew verses. "The 
people were oppressed in Israel," sang the musicians, 
"until you arose, Deborah, as the mother of Israel." 

Some remaining Canaanites became part of 
Israelite society, while others settled northwest of 
Palestine and became known as the Phoenicians. 

Further Reading 

The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 2. David Noel Freedman, 

ed. New York: Doubleday, 1992. 
Deen, Edith. All of the Women of the Bible. New York: 

Harper, 1955. 
Jones, David E. Women Warriors: A History. Washington, 

D.C.: Brassey's, 1997. 
O'Connell, Robert H. The Rhetoric of the Book of Judges. 

New York: E.J. Brill, 1995. 



HSI KAI CHING 

(early 19th century) 



Chinese pirate 



During the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan 
(1600-1869) and the Manchu dynasty in China 
(1644-1911), piracy ruled the seas between the two 
nations. Chinese pirates, who cruised the coastal 
waters of Japan, became the means by which Euro- 
pean adventurers gained entrance into the relatively 
isolated island nation (the Tokugawa shoguns finally 
expelled all foreigners in 1638). Hsi Kai Ching, at 
first a captive of pirate conquest, later joined her cap- 
tors to become one of the most successful pirate ship's 
captains in Chinese history. Like Anne BONNEY, Hsi 
Kai was pursued by pirate hunters; unlike Bonney, 
however, Hsi Kai did not get caught. 



43 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



The famine of 1799 drove many Chinese farmers 
to become buccaneers. Piracy in Europe and North 
America pales in comparison to that in East Asia. Jes- 
sica Amanda Salmonson describes fleets of a hundred 
or more Chinese pirate ships as "veritable floating 
nations." Rather than the stereotypical male pirate 
culture described in Western romance novels, Chi- 
nese pirate communities consisted of men, women, 
and children who roamed the waters looking for 
trade ships to attack. 

In 1804, a young captain named Ching Yih led a 
pirate fleet of 600 or 700 junks, or Chinese-style 
boats, around the Sea of Japan. His fleet caused so 
much damage that the Chinese Emperor Chia Ching 
(r. 1796-1820) sent 40 warships after him. Ching 
Yih captured 28 of the 40 and sank most of the 
remaining ships. Flush with victory, he threatened to 
dethrone the emperor and rule China himself. 

Ching Yih demanded to see the women that had 
been captured during the raid. Twenty bound women 
were brought before him, among them Hsi Kai, who 
immediately caught his attention. She was a tall, 
powerful-looking young woman. When Ching Yih 
ordered her unbound so that he could inspect her, 
she charged at him, spitting and clawing at his face. 
Ching's guards dragged Hsi Kai off him, but appar- 
ently the encounter excited Ching, because he asked 
Hsi Kai to marry him. At first, she refused. He 
offered her gold, silk, slaves, and property, but none 
of his riches interested her in the least. What she 
really wanted, Ching soon found out, was to share 
command of his fleet and the booty that they looted 
together. He agreed, and the two married. They 
divided Ching's fleet into six parts — blue, green, yel- 
low, black, red, and white squadrons — with the bride 
in command of the red and white fleets. Three years 
later, Hsi Kai's husband died in a typhoon. 

The captains of all of his fleets called a council to 
determine succession (pirate ships, both in the East 
and the West, were surprisingly well governed, con- 
sidering their outlaw status). Hsi Kai came to the 
meeting dressed in her husband's captain's uniform, 
over which she donned a purple robe embroidered 
with golden dragons. In her sash, she had tucked sev- 
eral of his swords. "Look at me, captains," she 



exorted. "Your departed chief sat in council with me. 
Your most powerful fleet, the white, was under my 
command, and took more prizes [booty] than any 
other. Do you think I will bow to any other chief?" 
Her speech had the desired effect: no one challenged 
Hsi Kai's command of her ships, or of the seas, at 
least for the time being. 

Captain Hsi Kai Ching expanded her operation to 
2,000 vessels and more than 70,000 pirates, includ- 
ing Chang Pao, her loyal lieutenant. So intimidating 
was she that she could charge a "protection fee" in 
exchange for safe passage over her domain. In 1808, 
she attacked the emperor's warships. In desperation, 
the government forbade all shipping in the Sea of 
Japan in hopes of starving her out. A generous 
bounty was offered to a pirate hunter who could cap- 
ture this trophy. Finally, in 1810, Captain Ching sur- 
rendered in exchange for total amnesty. She married a 
second husband and bore three sons and a daughter. 
Not content with the civilian life, however, she soon 
embarked on a career in smuggled goods. 

Further Reading 

Jones, David E. Women Warriors: A History. London: 

Brassey's Press, 1997. 
Macdonald, Sharon, Pat Holden, and Shirley Ardener. 

Images of Women in Peace and War. Madison: University 

of Wisconsin Press, 1987. 
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. The Encyclopedia of Amazons: 

Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era. New 

York: Paragon Books, 1991. 



A JOAN OF ARC (Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne la 
Pucelle [the Maid], Saint Joan of Arc) 
(1412?— 1431) French patriot, warrior, 
and saint 

A simple, illiterate peasant girl, Joan of Arc led the 
French in battle against the English siege of the city 
of Orleans, during the One Hundred Years' War 
(1337-1453). From the age of 13, Joan, who called 
herself "the Maid," claimed to hear the voice of God, 
who instructed her to rescue the French people from 
English rule. She was wounded in battle near Paris. 
The English captured and imprisoned her, and then 



44 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



turned her over to the Catholic Church to be tried 
for heresy. A tribunal of clergy, sympathetic to the 
English, sentenced her to death. Steadfastly refusing 
to recant the statements she had made during her 
trial, Joan finally relented and agreed to sign a confes- 
sion when the prison guards led her to the stake to be 
burned alive. Ultimately, she was lashed to the stake 
when she donned the male attire she had fought in 
and, by doing so, was considered by the court to be a 
relapsed heretic. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV declared 
Joan a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. 

The One Hundred Years' War, unlike other Euro- 
pean conflicts such as the Thirty Years' War (1618-48; 
see Madame PALATINATE), was caused by simple terri- 
torial greed. The French king Philip VI, whose sister 
was married to the English king Edward III, 
announced that he would take over all English lands 
controlled by his brother-in-law in France. Philip VTs 
plan was a particularly bold one, considering that in 
the 14th century, the nation of France did not really 
exist. Instead, France consisted of feudal domains 
loosely united. Not surprisingly, the war went poorly 
for France. 

Joan's deeds occurred during the last phase of the 
protracted war. In 1392, the insanity of the French 
King Charles VI had called control of the kingdom into 
question. Two aristocratic factions vied for the right to 
the throne, but it was John the Fearless, duke of Bur- 
gundy, who finally took the reins of power. Taking 
advantage of the chaos, England's King Henry V 
invaded France from Burgundy in 1415 and led his 
troops to a heartening victory at Agincourt in the same 
year. War-weary Europe assumed that the war was over. 

The peace agreement, however, proved to be 
short-lived. In 1420 Charles VI, Henry V, and Philip 
the Good of Burgundy (John the Fearless had died 
the previous year) signed the Treaty of Troyes, which 
stipulated that Henry was to act as regent for the 
mentally deranged Charles VI. Philip was to inherit 
the throne upon Charles VI's death, thereby disinher- 
iting Charles' son (later Charles VII, 1403-61). In 
1422, Henry V died, leaving his infant son as ruler of 
both kingdoms. Meanwhile, Charles VII, who 
claimed to wear the crown despite the treaty agree- 
ment, kept a wary eye on the city of Orleans, gateway 




Joan of Arc, 1 4 1 2-3 I , heard voices telling her 

to free France from the English. She led 

the army that repulsed the siege of Orleans, 

but was wounded in battle near Paris. 

Portrait from the Vigils ofCharlesVII. 



to the troubled province of Burgundy. The Treaty of 
Troyes, designed to bring peace, had failed miserably. 
When Joan of Arc was born, the war had already 
raged for some 65 years. She was born a devout 
Roman Catholic in Domremy, near Nancy in eastern 
France. She called herself Jeanne la Pucelle (the 
Maid), but others called her clairvoyant, because she 
seemed to have the power to foretell the future. Reli- 
gious visions came to her during her adolescence. 
Later, voices that she understood to be from God 
exhorted her to drive the English from French soil. 
By 1428, the English had control of all of northern 
France. Joan travelled to Vaucouleurs to ask the 
French army to take her to see the king, Charles VII. 



45 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



When faced by the illiterate peasant girl's strange 
request, the commander laughed at her. She was dis- 
missed with the wave of a hand. Joan persisted, how- 
ever, until the commander gave her the use of a horse 
and soldiers who were to act as escorts. 

Because France was not yet a nation, some feudal 
lords, including the Burgundians, sided with the 
English against the French. In fact, Charles VII had 
not been crowned yet, because the city of Reims 
(located in the province of Burgundy), where corona- 
tions had historically taken place, had fallen into 
English hands. If the English continued their ram- 
page and took Orleans, Charles VII knew all would 
be lost. Therefore, when an unknown maid named 
Joan demanded an audience, he had nothing left to 
lose. After she explained her mission, Charles VII 
tested her clairvoyance. He asked her to tell him what 
he had asked of God during his prayers the night 
before. Joan was able to repeat the king's prayers 
exactly as he had said them. Some courtiers feared the 
Maid's powers, declaring them to be the work of the 
devil. Charles VII remained convinced, and he gave 
her armor, an army of troops, and a banner. In 10 
days, the English fled Orleans. 

No longer needing an escort herself, the Maid 
escorted Charles VII to his coronation in 1429. Next, 
she convinced him to let her try to chase the English 
from Paris. The Burgundians captured her on May 23, 
1430, at Compiegne, where she had been wounded in 
batde. A soldier named John of Luxembourg sold Joan 
to the English for an enormous bounty. The English 
turned her over to the Catholic Church to be tried for 
heresy. Joan's biographers speculate that the English 
feared Joan's supernatural powers and wanted to see her 
put to death as a witch and a heretic. 

The bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon, argreed 
to try her in Rouen. Cauchon apppointed a panel of 
judges made up of theologians and professors from 
the University of Paris to hear the case. On February 
21, 1431, Joan appeared before her judges at the 
ecclesiastical court. Though a prisoner of the church, 
she had been confined at the Castle of Rouen, a secu- 
lar prison where licentious guards watched over her. 
She repeatedly asked to be moved to a church prison, 
where she would have been attended by female 



guards. Joan wore an iron ring around her neck, 
hands, and feet. She wore the men's clothing that she 
had worn throughout her soldiering days, probably 
to protect her modesty. 

As the trial progressed, Joan responded to her 
prosecutors with alacrity and resoluteness. Her 
judges' attempts at confusing or misleading her came 
to naught. She wisely refused to answer obscure or 
misleading questions. During the course of question- 
ing on March 1, Joan announced that within seven 
years time the English would have to give up a bigger 
prize than Orleans. On November 12, 1437, her 
prophesy came to pass, as Henry VI lost control of 
Paris that day. 

Cauchon perceived that the sympathies of many of 
the judges were turning in favor of Joan, so he had the 
trial moved to her prison cell, and many of the judges 
were excused. At this stage, Joan began to falter and 
give contradictory answers. Finally, the examinations 
ended on March 17, 1431. Twelve statements of her 
misdeeds were drawn up; a majority of judges deter- 
mined that the visions and voices Joan claimed to see 
and hear were "false and diabolical." If she refused to 
retract her statements, she would be handed over to 
secular authorities, who would surely put her to death. 
Admonitions against Joan were duly spoken, and the 
accused was asked to recant twice, on April 18 and 
May 2, but she refused both times. On May 9, her 
captors threatened torture, but still Joan held fast to 
her convictions. On May 23, 1431, officials erected a 
stake in the cemetery of Rouen, and in front of a gath- 
ering of people she was once more publicly admon- 
ished for her sins. At last her courage left her, and she 
agreed to retract some of her statements (the precise 
nature of her retraction is uncertain). Joan stated that 
she only retracted because she felt that it was now 
God's will. The victim was conducted back to prison. 

Cauchon reportedly responded to Joan's reprieve 
by saying, "We shall have her yet." One of the points 
upon which Joan was condemned was the wearing of 
men's clothing, and if Joan were to don the apparel 
again, it would be considered a relapse. Whether 
there were no other clothes in her cell, or whether 
Joan simply put on clothes to cover her body as she 
stood naked before her guards is not known. On May 



46 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



29, her judges determined that she was a relapsed 
heretic, and the 1 9-year-old Joan was burned at the 
stake on May 30, 1431. 

In 1456, Pope Callistus III granted a new hearing 
on request from Joan's parents. He pronounced her 
innocent of all charges of witchcraft and heresy. The 
Catholic Church canonized Joan of Arc in 1920. 

Further Reading 

Gies, Frances. Joan of Arc: The Legend and the Reality. New 
York: Harper & Row, 1981. 

Joan of Arc, Saint, defendant. Jeanne d'Arc, maid of 
Orleans, deliverer of France; being the story of her life, her 
achievements . . . New York: McClure, 1907. 

Sullivan, Karen. The Interrogation of Joan of Arc. Min- 
neapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. 



A NHONGO.TEURAI ROPA (Joice Mugari 
Nhongo Mujunu) 

(1955— ) Zimbabwean guerrilla fighter, 
politician, and feminist 

Teurai Ropa Nhongo fought for independence in her 
native Zimbabwe, becoming the most famous guer- 
rilla in the Zimbabwe African National Liberation 
Army (ZANLA). Rhodesian (British) security forces 
tried to hunt her down because they wanted to use 
her image in propaganda posters. In 1978, fighter 
planes attacked the military camp where she was an 
officer. At the time, she was pregnant with her first 
child, but she continued to fight during the raid. Two 
days later she gave birth to her daughter, Priscilla 
Rungano. Since Zimbabwe won independence from 
the British in 1980, Nhongo has held various govern- 
mental offices and has worked to improve the lives of 
Zimbabwean women. 

Teurai Ropa Nhongo was born Joice Mugari at 
Chawanda village, Mount Darwin, Zimbabwe, close 
to the Mozambique border on February 2, 1955. 
She attended the Howard Institute in the Mozoe 
area. When she passed her exit exam in school, she 
left her family to join the boys from her village who 
had run away to join in the liberation of Zimbabwe. 
In 1899, British diamond magnate and statesman 
Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) founded the British 



South African Company to colonize and promote 
trade in the southern portion of the African conti- 
nent. British settlers arrived soon after to lay claim to 
the land. The Ndebele and Shona people rose up in 
defense of their homeland, but by 1887, the British 
had subdued them. The country continued to be 
governed by the South African Company, much as 
the British East Indian Company controlled India 
(see Lakshmi BAl). In 1923, 34,000 Europeans living 
in what became known as Rhodesia voted to become 
a self-governing British colony. In 1953, the colony 
united with Malawi and Zambia to form the Federa- 
tion of Rhodesia. In response, two African nationalist 
organizations formed: Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe 
African People's Union (ZAPU) and Robert 
Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union 
(ZANU). The Federation of Rhodesia dissolved in 
1963, and Rhodesia reverted to its former status. In 
1965, Rhodesia declared independence from Great 
Britain, which resulted in economic sanctions against 
the former colony. ZAPU and ZANU members 
formed guerrilla groups in Zambia and Mozam- 
bique, respectively, from which they launched attacks 
on Rhodesian security forces. 

After receiving basic training, Joice Nhongo's 
superiors assigned her to field operations. Nhongo 
became a member of the General Staff of the 
ZANLA and commander of ZANLA's Women's 
Detachment. Like other soldiers in the war against 
colonial rule, she stopped using her English name, 
Joice, and selected a "Chimurenga" (resistance) 
name instead. The name she chose for herself, Teu- 
rai Ropa, means "spill blood." A year later, Nhongo 
was appointed camp commander of Chimoio, the 
largest guerrilla and refugee camp in Mozambique. 
She was also a political instructor at Chimoio. She 
married Rex Nhongo, military commander of the 
Chimoio camp. 

In 1977, Teurai Ropa Nhongo became a member 
of the ZANU National Executive of the Central 
Committee, the first woman ever to be appointed to 
such a political party and was named secretary of 
Women's Affairs. The following year, Rhodesian 
security forces attempted to hunt her down. Finally, 
after thousands of people died and were uprooted 



47 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



from their homes, the white minority agreed to hold 
multiracial elections in 1980. Robert Mugabe won a 
landslide victory and ZANU took control of the gov- 
ernment. Nhongo's husband was named the head of 
Zimbabwe's national army after independence and 
Teurai Ropa Nhongo was elected to represent the 
Mashonaland Central Constituency (Mashonaland 
Central is one of eight provinces in Zimbabwe). 

During her time in government, Nhongo realized 
that Zimbabwean women suffered from the same 
problems affecting women all over the African conti- 
nent. They married too young, had too many chil- 
dren too quickly, and lost out on opportunities to 
become educated. Zimbabwean women endured an 
additional hardship, however: as African men became 
migrant laborers, women became "grass widows," 
looking after not only their own families but their 
husbands' families as well. When younger women left 
the countryside to work in factories, employers paid 
them slightly under the minimum wage. One of 
Nhongo's primary concerns was to improve women's 
lives in Zimbabwe, and she worked hard to make 
governmental resources available for the cause. 

In addition to the economic problems facing 
Zimbabwean women, Nhongo found that women 
experienced discrimination in marriage, too. During 
colonial times, laws differentiated between white 
marriages and African marriages. A black woman 
who married in a Christian ceremony fell under the 
Native Marriage Act and was considered a minor and 
ward of her husband. Nhongo fought for the Legal 
Age of Majority Act, which passed in 1982. This act 
declared majority age to be 18 for all Zimbabweans. 
Zimbabwe women could then open bank accounts 
and enter into contracts like any other adult. 

Nhongo's desire for equality for Zimbabwean 
women arose as a direct consequence of her experi- 
ences in the liberation army. At the Women's Day 
rally held in 1983 in Harare, the capital city, Nhongo 
called for equality for all citizens before the law. 
"Women participated in the national liberation 
struggle for human rights," she declared. "Their 
resources must be made full use of in a mutually 
complementary manner rather than in a master-ser- 
vant relationship which smacks of exploitation of one 



group by another." She went on to encourage women 
to join trade unions. 

She also noted that, in 1983, Zimbabwe's Parlia- 
ment only included 12 women out of 140 represen- 
tatives, or about 9 percent (comparatively, the United 
States Congress included only 1 1 percent women in 
1996). Nhongo expressed optimism, however, that 
women and men will transform Zimbabwe into a 
more equitable society. "Because of the war experi- 
ence," Nhongo reasoned, "some men have realized 
that they can't do anything without the involvement 
of women." Nhongo was minister of Youth, Sport, 
and Recreation in 1980, and served as minister of 
Community Development and Women's Affairs 
from 1985 to 1988. Since 1997, she has been the 
minister of Rural Resources and Water Development. 

Further Reading 

Flame, a co-production, Black & White Film Company, 
JBA Production, Onland Productions, written by 
Ingrid Sinclair with Barbara Jago and Philip Roberts; 
produced by Simon Bright, Joel Phiri, Jacques Bidou, 
and Bridget Pickering; directed by Ingrid Sinclair. 86 
minutes. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 1996. 
Videocassette. (This dramatization of the Zimbabwe war 
of liberation is not specifically about Nhongo, but many 
of the events depicted are similar to what Nhongo experi- 
enced during the war.) 

Kinnear, Karen L. Women in the Third World. Santa Bar- 
bara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 1997. 

Weiss, Ruth. The Women of Zimbabwe. Harare, Zimbabwe: 
Nehanda Publishers, 1986. 



A PITCHER, MOLLY (Mary Ludwig 
Hays McCauley) 

(c. 1754-1832) American patriot 

Molly Pitcher's heroism during the Revolutionary 
War (1775-83) at the battle of Monmouth has been 
celebrated by American patriots ever since. Pitcher 
fought valiantly for seven years in the Pennsylvania 
State Regiment of Artillery. She served as second in 
command at her husband's artillery post, swabbing 
the cannon's bore between shots. Her nickname, 
Molly Pitcher (by which most people know her; her 



48 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 




Mary Ludwig Hays, better known as Molly Pitcher, was the first American woman to receive 

a military pension from a state government. 

Courtesy of Library of Congress. 



last name may have been Ludwig, though this is in 
dispute), derives from her carrying water in pitchers 
to thirsty soldiers during the Monmouth battle. In 
recognition of her services during the war, the Penn- 
sylvania state legislature in 1822 awarded her pay- 
ment of $40 immediately, with the same sum to be 
paid her annually until her death. Her place of burial 
is recorded as Carlisle, Pennsylvania; some claim she 
lies in the graveyard at West Point. Feisty and 
unkempt in appearance, Pitcher had a reputation for 
swearing "like a trooper." 

Pitcher was born probably on October 3, 1754, 
near Trenton, New Jersey, possibly the daughter of 
John George Ludwig. Ludwig had immigrated from 
the German state of Palatinate in 1749 and had set- 
tled in Mercer County, New Jersey, where he and his 



family operated a dairy farm. Pitcher left home as a 
teenager to become a domestic servant at the home of 
Dr. William Irvine in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She met 
and married John Caspar Hays, the local barber, with 
whom she had one son, John L. Hays. 

The American Revolution determined that the 
future of Great Britain's 13 colonies, located on the 
Atlantic seaboard of North America, would be as an 
independent nation, the United States. The war was 
fought on ideological, political, and economic grounds. 
Colonists demanding independence from Great 
Britain, including Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and 
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) argued that humans have 
the right, indeed the obligation, to seek liberty when 
oppressed. Great Britain's economic policies, such as 
taxing the colonists without providing them with a 



49 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



voice in Parliament, were seen as so egregious that some 
colonists demanded war. Throughout the course of the 
war, however, many Americans, especially royal office- 
holders, and farmers who benefited from trade with 
Great Britain, remained loyal to the crown. Others, 
including small businessmen, had grown weary of the 
repressive taxes Great Britain had burdened its colonists 
with, and they heeded the call to arms and liberty. For 
many men, the colonial army offered three meals a day 
and a paycheck. 

John Caspar Hays enlisted as a gunner in Thomas 
Proctor's First Company of Pennsylvania Artillery in 
December 1775. Meanwhile, Mary Hays's employer, 
Dr. William Irvine, had formed the Seventh Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment, which he commanded. In 1778, 
Hays reenlisted with Irvine's company. For a time, 
Mary Hays remained in Carlisle, until she joined her 
husband's regiment as a camp follower. 

The tradition of camp followers dates back at least 
as far as the Middle Ages (800-1300). Most camp 
followers were women who wanted to join their hus- 
bands in battle. Typically, camp followers performed 
wifely duties at camp, such as cooking meals, wash- 
ing clothes, obtaining water supplies, and treating 
wounds. Generally, wives took care of their own fam- 
ilies (they often brought their young children with 
them), not of the whole company. The term camp 
follower also represents the women who traveled with 
the military and worked as prostitutes. 

Mary Hays chose to become more of a soldier 
than most camp followers, assisting her husband on 
the battlefront. During the retreat of the American 
soldiers from Fort Clinton, Hays's comrades in arms 
took note of her courage and daring. Cannoneers 
who were forced to abandon their weapons in a 
retreat usually tried to load them for a parting shot as 
the enemy closed in on their position. In the terror of 
the retreat, however, Captain John Hays dropped the 
match, and he ran to join his company. Mary Hays, 
following behind her husband, deftly picked up the 
dropped match and set off the cannon in the face of 
the British attackers. She narrowly escaped the volley 
of shots that peppered the battlefield. 

On Sunday, June 28, 1778, Mary Hays assisted 
her husband at his cannon on an unusually hot sum- 



mer day. As the battle raged, soldiers began crying 
out for water on the front lines. Hays found an old 
broken pitcher lying about in camp. She quickly 
filled it with water at a nearby spring and delivered 
the cool, soothing liquid to parched soldiers' throats. 
Thereafter, she was known as Molly Pitcher. 

Captain John Caspar Hays was killed by British 
artillery later that day. His wife witnessed his painful 
death on the battlefield (some sources say that he 
was only wounded). Mary Hays knew that if no one 
were to take her husband's place at his cannon, how- 
ever, the battle, and other lives, would be lost. So she 
took her husband's place behind the cannon, loading 
and firing the weapon, so the story goes, as adeptly 
as her husband. 

After the battle of Monmouth, Pitcher returned 
to Carlisle, where she married John McCauley 
(spellings vary), but she was again widowed in 1808 
or 1809. Pitcher spent her days cleaning and per- 
forming other odd domestic jobs for her subsistence. 
When she died on January 22, 1832, her obituaries 
in local newspapers made no mention of her war 
service at all, despite the honor bestowed on her by 
the Pennsylvania legislature. Her grave lay unmarked 
in the Carlisle cemetery. 

During the centennial of the American Revolu- 
tion, Pitcher's story became intertwined and con- 
fused with that of Margaret Corbin (1751-1800). 
Like Pitcher, Corbin also served as a cannoneer 
and, like Pitcher, she took over her husband's 
duties after he had been shot dead. Unlike Pitcher, 
however, Corbin was wounded and disabled in bat- 
tle. In July 1779, Congress passed a resolution call- 
ing for the payment to Corbin of the sum of 
one-half the monthly pay drawn by a soldier for the 
rest of her life. 

Pitcher became a celebrity during the nation's cen- 
tennial celebration in 1876, when a Carlisle resident 
who remembered her story suggested that a tomb- 
stone be placed over her grave. In 1905, a cannon, 
flag, and flagstaff were added, and in 1916, a state 
monument was erected and dedicated at her burial 
site. Residents of Monmouth, New Jersey, dedicated 
a bronze statue of a barefoot Molly Pitcher standing 
beside her cannon, water pail by her side. 



50 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Further Reading 

Keenan, Sheila. Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the 
U.S. New York: Scholastic Reference, 1996. 

King, David. First Facts About American Heroes. Wood- 
bridge, Conn.: Blackbirch Press, 1996. Young Adult. 

Stevens, William Oliver. Famous Women of America. New 
York: Dodd, Mead, 1950. 



A QIU JIN (Ch'iu Chin) 

(1875-1907) Chinese revolutionary 
and poet 

Qiu Jin was one of the first women to protest tradi- 
tional Chinese customs and advocate freedom and 
equality for men and women. To advance women's 
rights, she celebrated historic Chinese heroines, but at 
the same time she discouraged Chinese traditions and 
encouraged Western values and ideas (Qiu Jin's own 
hero was JOAN OF ARC). She incited women's rebellion 
against social pressures in China, but also, in a more 
radical position, she advocated and planned an upris- 
ing against the Manchu government. When govern- 
ment officials captured and beheaded her in 1907, she 
became a martyr in the revolutionary cause. 

The Manchu dynasty (sometimes called the 
Ch'ing or Qing dynasty) took power in 1644 and 
ruled until 1911. Under Manchu rule, China became 
one of the greatest powers in the world, as well as its 
richest and most sophisticated. The Manchus were 
nomadic warriors from Manchuria, but once they 
conquered China, they adopted Chinese culture to 
consolidate their rule. China grew prosperous under 
the Manchu dynasty, developing trade networks and 
a sophisticated, urban population. Agriculture 
became far more productive than it had ever been, 
and population growth began in earnest. 

By the 1 9th century, however, population growth 
began to exceed productivity, resulting in a large 
impoverished peasant population. This segment of 
society began to rebel, and China was forced to make 
trade concessions with foreign nations. The Opium 
War, or the Anglo-Chinese War (1839-42), had as its 
cause upper-class Chinese dependence on opium as a 
recreational drug, but the underlying issue was 



British access to Chinese markets, which the Manchu 
rulers resisted. The war resulted in a humiliating 
defeat by the British, leaving China at the mercy of 
European incursions. In the late 1890s, European 
missionaries provoked antiforeign riots in various 
parts of China. The Manchu Empress at the time, 
Dowager Tz'u Hsi (1835-1908), adroitly incited 
peasant rebellions against the missionaries and all for- 
eigners in China, instead of against the Manchu 
dynasty. Westerners began calling this group of rebels 
the Boxers, and in 1900, the Boxers went on a ram- 
page, killing missionaries and Chinese Christian con- 
verts. Despite the apparent victory (Western powers, 
including Japan, withdrew from China; but the peace 
treaty included staggering indemnities forced on 
China), the Manchu dynasty toppled in 1911. 

Qiu Jin was born into a moderately wealthy fam- 
ily. Her childhood, like that of warrior Lakshmi BAI, 
included swordplay, riding horses, and fighting with 
boys. Her family also insisted that she become well 
educated, and she grew up a voracious reader. 

Qiu Jin's parents arranged her marriage to Wang 
Ting-Chun at the age of 21, but she felt confined by 
her much older husband, whose conventional ways 
conflicted with her free spirit. In 1903, she left her 
husband to pursue an education in Japan. Like many 
European and American women of the early 20th 
century, Qiu Jin began wearing men's clothes and 
advocating more freedoms for women. She wrote arti- 
cles celebrating historical Chinese women, and poems 
in which she referred to the Chinese practice of bind- 
ing the feet of four-year-old girls. Beginning in the 
10th century, girls' mothers bent each daughter's feet 
backward so that the toes broke and the foot formed a 
ball wrapped with silk bandages. Over time, the tiny 
wrapped feet became a symbol of beauty for Chinese 
women. However, the underlying purpose of the cus- 
tom was to keep women immobile and sexually acces- 
sible only to their husbands. Chinese women and 
men began protesting the widespread custom in the 
early 20th century. Foot binding became symbolic of 
the corruption of the Manchu dynasty. 

Qiu Jin returned to China in 1906 and began to 
publish a woman's magazine, in which she recom- 
mended that women train and educate themselves to 



51 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



work so that they could support themselves. Increas- 
ingly, Qiu Jin began to believe that women's lives in 
China would never change unless the Manchu dynasty 
was overthrown. To that end, she joined forces with 
her cousin Hsu Hsi-lin; the two formed secret revolu- 
tionary societies and military units. Qiu Jin founded a 
women's journal in Shanghai and became the principal 
of the Ta'Tung College of Physical Culture, through 
which she carried on her revolutionary activities. 

On July 6, 1907, the government arrested Hsu 
Hsi-lin on charges of treason. He admitted his revolu- 
tionary views under interrogation, and he was exe- 
cuted. Six days later, government officials stormed Qiu 
Jin's school. She refused to admit complicity in the 
planned revolt, responding to queries by writing only 
the seven Chinese characters "The autumn rain and 
wind sadden us." Documents revealing her role in the 
movement disputed her testimony, and she was 
beheaded on July 15, 1907. She immediately became 
a martyr for the cause of women's rights in China. 

Further Reading 

Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Ohrn, eds. Herstory: 
Women Who Changed the World. New York: Viking 
Press, 1995. 

Wolf, Margery, and Roxane Witke, eds. Women in Chinese 
Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975. 

A RAZIA, SULTANA (Razia of Delhi, 
Sultana Raziya) 

(mid- 13th century) Indian warrior 

Muslims of Turkish descent, Sultana Razia's ancestors 
invaded India in the 1 1 th century. Razia was the only 
woman ever to occupy the throne at Delhi, India's cap- 
ital city located in the northern half of the subconti- 
nent. Muslim princesses were often trained to 
administer kingdoms and lead armies, and Sultana 
Razia was no exception. However, authorities generally 
consulted women trained in the political and martial 
arts only if no male royal family member was available. 
Sultana Razia's talents in politics and fighting were far 
superior to her brothers', and Razia's father, Iltutmish 
(Sultan of Delhi, reigned 121 1—36) chose her over her 
brothers to be his successor. 



Turkish Muslim merchants had settled in the port 
city of Gujarat, northwestern India, and along the 
southern coast of India, as early as the 10th century. A 
few decades later, they were followed by ferocious 
Turkish Muslim warriors who conquered the inland 
Indian state of Ghazni (in present-day Afghanistan). In 
1023 Mahmud of Ghanzi rode into India with 30,000 
mounted warriors, pillaging and killing Indians as they 
went. Mahmud deemed himself the "image breaker," 
because he delighted in leveling Hindu and Buddhist 
temples and slaughtering non-Muslims. His entourage 
boasted that they had murdered 50,000 Hindus in one 
day. The Buddhist university at Nalanda, including its 
library of priceless manuscripts, was destroyed; Bud- 
dhism in India (the religion was founded by the Indian 
Siddarta Gautama, ca. 563-483 B.C.E.) never recov- 
ered from the blow. 

Clashes between Muslims and Hindus who resis- 
ted Muslim rule continued into the 12th century, but 
the inability of Hindus to unite (due largely to the 
prejudices of the caste system) resulted in Muslim 
domination. A series of Turkish-Afghan rulers known 
as the "Slave Sultans of Delhi" extended and unified 
Muslim power over North India for nearly all of the 
13th century (1206-90), including the years of Sul- 
tana Razia's reign. 

After Razia's father, Iltutmish, died, Delhi's emirs — 
Turkish aristocrats — opposed Razia's succession to the 
throne. To appease them and preserve peace, she 
stepped down from the throne in favor of her step- 
brother Ruknuddin. However, like Razia's brothers, 
Ruknuddin led a hedonistic life and had no interest in 
administering the sultanate. As the emirs began to sec- 
ond-guess their original opposition to Razia's succes- 
sion, Razia became the victim of an assassination 
attempt by Ruknuddin's mother. Razia called a meet- 
ing of the emirs and told them of the plot to kill her. In 
1236, the emirs rescinded their initial opposition, and 
Razia ascended the throne. 

Sultana Razia exhibited the political astuteness 
that had impressed her father when she was young. 
She used her new power to encourage trade, build 
roads to make trading more efficient, and improve 
water supplies in the city and its environs. A well- 
educated woman who could read and recite from the 



52 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Qur'an, Sultana Razia encouraged and supported the 
arts and education in Delhi. In public, she appeared 
without her veil, wearing the tunic and headdress of a 
man. She instituted a more accessible government by 
opening meetings to the public. She tried to appease 
her Hindu subjects by exhibiting a tolerant attitude 
toward them. She attempted to abolish the tax upon 
Hindus, but the emirs' opposition to this move was 
too vigorous, and the tax remained in place. The 
emirs' open hostility to Razia's liberal rule ultimately 
resulted in Sultana Razia's downfall. 

One of the emirs' chief complaints was Razia's 
reliance upon her adviser, Jamal Uddin Yaqut, who 
was not of Turkish descent. She had bestowed special 
favors upon Jamal, including making him master of 
horses, an honorary position previously enjoyed only 
by Turkish courtiers. One governor, Altunia, planned 
and carried out an armed rebellion against the Sul- 
tana. With Jamal at her side, Razia led her troops into 
a long battle against Altunia's forces. She was out- 
numbered, however, and Jamal was killed in battle. 
Her foes captured her and took her prisoner. 

In Delhi, the emirs proclaimed one of Razia's 
brothers to be the new sultan. Razia married her cap- 
tor and former governor, Altunia, and husband and 
wife rode back to Delhi to reclaim the throne. While 
they were traveling, the new sultan's forces defeated 
them. Both Razia and Altunia died in battle. Razia's 
mourners erected a tomb in her honor on the banks 
of the Yamuna River, which flows through Delhi. 
The burial site became a memorial to the only female 
monarch ever to rule Delhi. 

Further Reading 

Brijbuhshan, Jamila. Sultana Raziya, Her Life and Times: A 
Reappraisal. New Delhi: Manohar Publications, 1990. 

Zakaria, Rafique. Razia, Queen of India. Karachi, Pakistan: 
Oxford University Press, 1999. 



A SAMPSON GANNET, DEBORAH 

(1760-1827) American soldier 

In 1777, in the midst of the Revolutionary "War 
(1775-83) between the American colonies and Great 



Britain, General George Washington ruminated 
about his ragtag, ruffian army. "The Multitudes of 
women," he lamented, "especially those who are 
pregnant or have children, are a clog upon every 
movement." The women he alluded to, known as 
camp followers, joined their uniformed husbands 
who made up General Washington's unprofessional 
army. One patriotic young woman, Deborah Samp- 
son, wanted to participate more actively in the mili- 
tary. She knew that the only way women could join 
the American cause was to help their husbands in 
military camps and on the front lines, or to service 
soldiers by becoming prostitutes. To become a soldier 
herself, Sampson reasoned, she would have to con- 
vince the military that she was a man. With a five- 
foot, seven-inch frame and a sturdy physique, she was 
already on her way. 

Deborah Sampson was born in Plympton, in Ply- 
mouth County, Massachusetts, on December 17, 
1760. It was the schoolbooks she read, she later con- 
tended, that drove her desire to leave her tiny village 
and see the wider world. In 1782, she dressed as a man 
and enlisted at Bellingham, Massachusetts, under the 
name of Robert Shirtliff Along with a group of about 
50 recruits, Sampson marched to West Point for train- 
ing. She was assigned an infantry position in Colonel 
Henry Jackson's Fourth Massachusetts Regiment. Her 
first taste of battle occurred at Tarrytown, New York, 
where her scouting unit surprised a contingent of 
enemy cavalry. Deborah Sampson fought bravely in 
the three-hour battle. She found a bullet hole in her 
hat; two bullets had grazed her coat. 

Next, Sampson's company joined with a contin- 
gent of French soldiers under the command of Gen- 
eral Lafayette. The force engaged the British at 
Yorktown, where Deborah Sampson killed a British 
soldier. She suffered a saber wound, which she 
cleaned and dressed herself rather than reveal her 
gender in the first aid tent. 

The following spring at West Point, where 
Sampson and her company had spent the winter, 
she and two other soldiers requested permission to 
lead a raid into New York. Their captain approved, 
and 20 others volunteered to join them. The com- 
pany ambushed an enemy caravan. In the fighting 



53 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



that resulted, Sampson took a bullet in her thigh 
and one in her head. Although the wounds were 
only superficial, she lost a great deal of blood. She 
extracted the musket ball from her thigh, rather 
than have her gender discovered by a surgeon. She 
rejoined her unit after recovering but requested to 
be allowed to stay behind with another wounded 
soldier, Richard Snow. The two hid in the attic of 
what they took to be an abandoned house. Later, 
Sampson realized that Tory (British) sympathizers 
lived there. From the attic, she overheard the resi- 
dents discussing their plans. 

To her sorrow and alarm, Richard Snow died, and 
dozens of hungry cats began swarming into the attic. 
She escaped the following day; later, she returned 
with soldiers, captured the Tories, and recovered 
Snow's body. In October 1783, after most of the 
fighting had ceased (the Treaty of Paris ending the 
war had been signed in September) Sampson was dis- 
charged from active duty by General Henry Knox at 
West Point and was working for General Patterson in 
Philadelphia as an aide. Soon, she caught a "malig- 
nant fever," according to her physician, Dr. Binney. 
Binney discovered her gender and her true identity. 
Deborah Sampson was honorably discharged from 
the army in 1783, a month after the Treaty of Paris, 
which formally recognized American independence. 
She returned home and married farmer Benjamin 
Gannet. The two lived in Sharon, Massachusetts, 
where Deborah Sampson Gannet gave birth to one 
son and two daughters. 

In 1792, Gannet petitioned the U.S. government 
to receive compensation for her service in the Army 
of the United States. She appeared in court to have 
her petition heard before the Massachusetts Supreme 
Court. The court document noted: 

"Whereas it appears to this Court that the said 
Deborah Gannet enlisted, under the name of Robert 
Shirtliff, in Captain Webb's company . . . and did 
actually perform the duty of a soldier in the late 
Army of the United States to the 23rd day of October 
1783, for which she has received no compensation: 
And whereas it further appears that the said Deborah 
exhibited an extraordinary instance of female hero- 
ism by discharging the duties of a faithful and gallant 



soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue 
and chastity of her sex unsuspected and unblem- 
ished, and was discharged from the service with a fair 
and honorable character . . . the Treasurer of this 
Commonwealth is directed to issue his note to the 
said Deborah for the sum of thirty-five pounds, bear- 
ing interest from October 23, 1783." 

This document reveals the paradoxical way in 
which women soldiers were treated in the Revolu- 
tionary period. On the one hand, Gannet received 
praise for being "one of the boys" by fulfilling the 
duties of a soldier. On the other hand, the court 
praised her for being a "good girl" by remaining a 
chaste virgin. 

Why did the court find it necessary to report on 
Gannet's sexuality? By dressing and acting as a man, 
and by crossing the boundaries between masculinity 
and femininity, Gannet had challenged those bound- 
aries. The court seemed to be reinforcing the bound- 
aries in the face of Gannet's challenge, by reminding 
society that, although Gannet's soldiering had been 
deemed acceptable, chaste femininity would remain 
the standard for proper womanhood. 

Deborah Sampson Gannet died on April 29, 1827. 

Further Reading 

Evan, Sara M. Born For Liberty: A History of Women in 

America. New York: Free Press, 1997. 
Freeman, Lucy. America's First Woman Warrior: The Courage 

of Deborah Sampson. New York: Paragon House, 1992. 
Mann, Herman. The Life of Deborah Sampson. New York: 

Arno Press, 1972. 



A TESCON.TRINIDAD 
(1848-1928) Philippine 
revolutionary soldier 

Historians know little of the details of Trinidad 
Tescon's long life. What we do know is that she 
fought with a guerrilla army for Philippine freedom 
from colonial rule; that she was badly wounded dur- 
ing an attack at the town of San Miguel under the 
command of General Soliman; and that she organ- 
ized, under the auspices of the Red Cross, a group of 
women to nurse wounded soldiers back to health. 



54 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



Trinidad Tescon was born in San Miguel de 
Mayumo, Philippines. Like many other native Fil- 
ipinos, she came to resent Spanish control of the 
Philippine Islands and came to believe that only 
through armed force could indigenous people regain 
control of their land. European conquest of the 
islands had begun 300 years earlier when Portuguese 
sea captain and explorer Ferdinand Magellan 
(1480?— 1521) led a Spanish expedition to the Philip- 
pines in 1521. Filipino warriors killed Magellan sev- 
eral weeks later and his fleet returned to Spain. 
However, another group of Spanish explorers suc- 
ceeded in claiming the islands for Spain. They estab- 
lished a permanent settlement in 1565, naming the 
islands Philippines after the Spanish King Philip II. 
The Spanish ruled the islands with a strong central 
government. They divided the land among themselves 
and employed Filipinos as tenant farmers, laborers, 
and servants. 

Numerous uprisings punctuated the Spanish colo- 
nial rule of the Philippines. Before the late 19th cen- 
tury, revolts were confined to Philippine religious 
leaders who resented Spanish Roman Catholicism. 
During the late 1800s, a Filipino educated, middle 
class emerged (due to the opening of Philippine mar- 
kets to foreign trade) with a yearning for independ- 
ence. The martyrdom of three Filipino priests in 
1872 — Jose Burgos, Mariano Gomez, and Jacinto 
Zamora — for supposedly conspiring with rebels, 
sparked anti-Spanish sentiment. 

Like Italian patriot Cristina TRIVULZIO, Fil- 
ipinos began taking their cause abroad, raising anti- 
Spanish sentiments among the European and 
American public. Filipino writer Dr. Jose Rizal 
emerged as a leader of the movement when he pub- 
lished his novel Noli me tangere (published in Eng- 
lish as The Lost Eden, 1961) in 1886, in which he 
uncovered the corruption of Spanish rule. 

The Philippine Revolution (1896-98) began 
when Andres Bonifacio, a self-educated warehouse 
clerk, organized a secret revolutionary society called 
the Katipunan. This organization, made up of men 
and women, was modeled on Freemasonry (one of 
the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the 
world). The Katipunan tried, but failed, to over- 



throw the colonial government in 1896. In the 
meantime, a local chief of the Katipunan, Emilio 
Aguinaldo, proclaimed himself the leader of the rev- 
olutionary forces and its government. He had Boni- 
facio executed on May 10, 1897. Aguinaldo 
himself suffered reverses at the hands of Spanish 
troops, and he was forced to flee to Biak-na-Bato in 
Bulacan Province, on the island of Luzon. From 
there, he negotiated an armistice between himself 
and the Spanish governor. The rebel leader would 
go into exile in Hong Kong, in exchange for politi- 
cal reform of the colonial government. 

During the three years of armed struggle for inde- 
pendence, Trinidad Tescon fought valiantly in the 
battle of Zaragoza, on the island of Luzon. After 
recovering from her wounds, she participated in 
another military confrontation with the Spanish 
under the command of General del Pilar. She set up a 
makeshift field hospital at Biak-na-Bato, site of the 
treaty declaration between Aguinaldo and Spanish 
officials. Her patients lovingly called her "Ina ng 
Biak-Na-Bato," or Mother of the Biak-na-Bato. 

The Philippine Revolution ended in the military 
defeat of the Filipino guerrilla army and its failure to 
oust the Spanish from the islands. It was intimately 
connected to the Spanish-American War, which took 
place between April and August 1898, and in which 
American forces defeated the Spanish. The Spanish- 
American War developed over the issue of Spanish 
rule over Cuba. In the course of the war, however, 
battles spread to the Philippines. In fact, the first 
important battle in the war took place on May 1, 
1898, when American forces destroyed all the Span- 
ish ships — 10 of them — in Manila Bay. The Ameri- 
can Commodore George Dewey blockaded the 
Manila harbor. In the meantime, Aguinaldo 
returned to the Philippines from Hong Kong and 
started the revolution anew, this time against Ameri- 
can forces. The U.S. government assumed title to 
the Philippines as a result of defeating the Spanish. 
However, the Filipinos did not recognize the United 
States's claim. Aguinaldo was captured in 1901 and 
appealed to the Katipunan to accept American sov- 
ereignty. The United States controlled the Philip- 
pines until 1946. 



55 



AMAZONS, HEROINES, AND MILITARY LEADERS 



After the Philippine Revolution, Trinidad Tescon's Further Reading 

nurses extended their operation to the southern Linnj Brian McAllister. The Philippine War, 1899-1902. 
provinces. The International Red Cross rewarded Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000. 

her work in 1901. She was buried at Veteran's Tomb Uglow, Jennifer. The Macmillan Dictionary of Women's 
in Manila. Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1999. 



56 



3 



Business Leaders 
and Lawyers 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



A BEECH, OLIVE (Olive Ann Mellor Beech) 
(1903—1993) American business executive 

In 1940, businesswoman Olive Beech lay in a hospital 
room after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary 
Lynn. At the same time, her husband, Beech Aircraft 
Corporation President Walter Beech, fell gravely ill 
with encephalitis. Nonplussed by her circumstances, 
Olive Beech ran Beech Aircraft from the hospital, call- 
ing a meeting of the board of directors around her hos- 
pital bed. When she discovered that one of her 
executives was trying to take over her husband's job, she 
fired the man. Three years later, the New York Times 
named Beech one of the 12 most distinguished women 
in the United States. The Aviation Hall of Fame 
inducted Beech as a member in 1981, and she became 
known as the First Lady of Aviation — though she had 
never piloted a plane. 

Olive Beech earned a reputation for being very 
strict, a character trait for which many male executives 
might be commended. But since women were 
expected to be compliant and well-behaved, Beech 
rigged up a system for letting her employees know 
what kind of mood she was in on a particular day. A 
black flag with "woe" written on it indicated a foul 
mood; a royal blue flag with "Oh happy day" scrawled 
across the bottom meant smooth sailing. For most of 
Beech's career, the sailing was smooth indeed. 

Born on September 25, 1903, to Frank B. and 
Suzannah Miller Mellor in Waverly, Kansas, Olive 
Beech grew up in farming communities and attended 
school in Paola, Kansas. Frank Mellor worked as a 
carpenter and construction manager in small towns. 
Instead of high school, Olive learned stenography 
and bookkeeping at the American Business College 
in Wichita, Kansas. In 1920, at the age of 17, she 
began working at Staley Electric Company, but four 
years later the owner died and the business folded. 
Beech quickly found another job at an airplane man- 
ufacturing plant called Travel Air Manufacturing 
Company of Wichita. Beech recalled that she knew 
nothing at all about airplanes when she accepted the 
position. She had prepared some letters to send out 
to clients in which she confused some technical 
terms, and the Travel Air staff teased her about her 



incompetence. Instead of crawling into a corner and 
giving up, however, Beech asked the chief engineer to 
draw a diagram of an airplane with all of the parts 
labeled. She made few mistakes thereafter. 

Walter H. Beech, president of Travel Air, had 
caught hold of the flight fervor sweeping the nation 
in the first years of the 20th century. In 1902, about a 
year before the Wright Brothers made their first suc- 
cessful airplane flight, Beech — at age 11 — built a 
glider using his mother's new bedsheet. He never got 
off the ground, but 22 years later he founded his own 
airplane manufacturing company. 

In 1930, Olive and Walter were married. The 
stock market crash of 1929 had brought lean times to 
the aircraft industry, and Travel Air had merged with 
Curtiss-Wright Corporation, a large aviation con- 
glomerate. Walter Beech served as president of Cur- 
tiss-Wright, but soon the company closed its Wichita 
plant, and the Beeches moved to New York City, 
where Walter managed the firm's sales department. In 
1932, however, Walter Beech quit his position and 
the couple moved back to Kansas, where they formed 
a new company, Beech Aircraft. The company spe- 
cialized in small or light private-owner and commer- 
cial airplanes in the 285-459 horsepower class. 
Walter Beech created the Beech Staggerwing, a lux- 
ury cabin plane that could cruise at more than 200 
miles per hour and carry five passengers. Olive Beech 
was elected secretary/treasurer of the business. The 
first few years were very tough; the company sold 
very few airplanes. In 1936, the Beeches reorganized 
the company, and Olive Beech served on the com- 
pany's board of directors. In this capacity, Beech per- 
suaded her husband to allow a female pilot, Louise 
Thaden, to fly a Beech airplane in a transcontinental 
speed race from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Thaden 
won the race, and Olive Beech helped convince avia- 
tor enthusiasts that women could pilot airplanes. 

During World War II, the U.S. government called 
upon American businesses to join the "total war" effort. 
Under the helm of Olive Beech while her husband 
struggled with his illness, Beech Aircraft manufactured 
its Beechcraft Model 18, used as a bomber trainer and a 
short-haul airship. Sales of the Beechcraft Model 17 
and Beechcraft Model 1 8 were so brisk that a backlog 
was created. Employment jumped from 235 in 1939 to 



58 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



2,100 in 1940, and doubled in 1942. When the war 
ended in 1945, Beech had built more than 7,300 mili- 
tary aircraft, and the Army and Navy awarded the com- 
pany for its efficiency. Beech also diversified by 
manufacturing such items as corn harvesters, cotton 
pickers, washing machines, and even pie plates. When 
Walter Beech died in 1950, Olive Beech became presi- 
dent and director of the Beech Aircraft Corporation, 
the first women to head a major aircraft company. 

During the Korean War (1950-53), Beech Aircraft 
again focused on the military uses of its airplanes. In 
1953, Beech Aircraft arranged the construction of a 
new building in which to build its new twin-engine T- 
36 trainer airplanes with the U.S. Air Force. Just as the 
building was finished, however, the government can- 
celed the contract. Olive Beech rejected a suggestion 
that the U.S. military, after the cancellation, had taken 
steps to insure that the company would not falter eco- 
nomically. Beech commented in a March 1, 1955, let- 
ter to Forbes Magazine, "Every dollars worth of the 
company's present business and the business which has 
been accomplished and delivered during the past 
eighteen months," Beech wrote, "has been secured by 
the most effective sort of competition." 

In 1968, Olive Beech retired and turned over the 
presidency of Beech Aircraft to her nephew, Frank E. 
Hedrick (Beech stayed on as an executive). She won 
numerous awards and served on several charity organi- 
zations, including the Young Women's Christian Asso- 
ciation, the First Methodist Church of Wichita, and 
the Red Cross, before her death on July 6, 1993. 

Further Reading 

"A Job for Olive Ann," Time Magazine (Dec. 25, 1950): 54. 

Jeffrey, Laura S. Great American Businesswomen. Spring- 
field, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1996. Young Adult. 

Wyden, Peter. "Danger: Boss Lady at Work," Saturday 
Evening Post {hug. 8, 1959): 27. 



A BENETTON, GIULIANA 
(1937- ) Italian fashion 
and businesswoman 

Imagine you are living in Italy soon after its defeat in 
World War II. The economy is a shambles, buildings 



have been reduced to rubble, and you do not know 
how you will ever recover from the devastation, or 
how your country will ever regain its former glory. 
Suddenly, you realize that you have a talent that 
could be turned into a product that people might just 
be willing to buy. A new energy engulfs you as you 
realize that your product could not only lift you and 
your family out of economic doldrums but also 
brighten the lives of those around you. 

The product? Brightly colored knit sweaters. The 
craftsperson? Giuliana Benetton. Her sweater designs 
form the foundation of one of the most successful 
clothing companies in the world, the Benetton Group. 
A combination of factors, including skill, creativity, 
good business sense, and timing, all resulted in the suc- 
cess of Giuliana Benetton's business enterprise. 

Knit sweaters were a good product to start Benet- 
ton's fashion empire in the postwar era. Knitting is a 
process in which yarn is wound around itself, forming 
interlocking stitches that cannot come apart, unless 
the entire garment is unraveled. Contrast knitting 
with weaving, another craft involving yarn. Weaving 
uses two sources of yarn, which also interlock, but 
there is a certain amount of wasted yarn in weaving, 
because the loom requires extra yarn that does not 
become part of the finished garment. Knitting is thus 
the most efficient form of garment-making, an 
important factor in times of poor economy. 

Giuliana Benetton, born on July 8, 1937, devel- 
oped a passion for knitting when she was only five years 
old. Her father died when she was eight, and the Benet- 
ton children were forced to struggle to make a living. As 
Giuliana grew up, her family lived in Italy's northeast 
corner, in a region called Veneto. The city of Treviso, 
where she was born, is about 30 kilometers north of 
Venice, Italy. Although they were born into a poor 
economy, the Benettons lived in an area that became an 
advantage to them. Northern Italy represents the indus- 
trial area of the country, and while the world war 
destroyed much of its power as the factories had been 
subject to heavy Allied bombing, it offered a system of 
rivers that produced cheap electricity, and a transporta- 
tion network that would benefit the Benetton business. 

The area that Giuliana Benetton lived in was a 
boon to the family business in another way. It is a 



59 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



region in which artisans, or people who make their 
living by practicing a craft, thrive. So early on in her 
life, Giuliana Benetton's knitting skills were encour- 
aged. As soon as she became a teenager, she began 
turning her knitting skill into a way of earning 
money. At first, she knit sweaters for a small clothing 
business. Her business partner, her brother Luciano 
Benetton, bicycled across Treviso delivering his sis- 
ter's sweaters to distributors. Luciano, two years older 
than Giuliana, worked as a salesman in a clothing 
shop, gaining needed business experience. 

In 1955, Giuliana and Luciano decided to strike 
out on their own. They sold a younger brother's bicy- 
cle along with Luciano's accordion in order to buy a 
secondhand knitting machine. Knitting machines pro- 
duce a finished garment in a fraction of the time it 
takes to hand-knit. In a short time, Giuliana had made 
a variety of sweaters. Luciano began marketing them at 
area stores. The cheerful colors and designs became 
popular in a depressed, bereaved society, and Giuliana 
quickly received more orders. One year later, the 
Benettons hired two girls, ages 11 and 12, as laborers. 
Rather than selling the sweaters to local stores, Luciano 
and his two younger brothers, Giberto and Carlo, 
began peddling them door-to-door. Selling directly to 
consumers enabled the family to take all the profits, 
rather than having to share profits with store owners. 
Like any good businessman, Luciano reinvested those 
profits by opening a store of his own, in Belluno, Italy. 
The business thrived, and, by 1965, the Benettons 
were producing 20,000 sweaters a year. 

By the mid-1980s, Benetton rang up sales of $351 
million from 2,600 stores worldwide. Nine factories 
produce the clothing the company sells; seven in 
Italy, one in Scotland, and one in France. The Benet- 
ton Group has been described as "the Italian miracle 
of the century." The company's advertising cam- 
paigns, which have included anti-capital punishment 
themes, have also stirred controversy in recent years. 

From the outset, Giuliana Benetton has been 
responsible for the creation of the knitwear collections, 
supervising and coordinating product lines. "I feel very 
fortunate because I have a job that I love," she says. "I 
coordinate the work of over 200 young designers, sur- 
rounded by a colorful array of sketches, fabric swatches, 



and wool samples." Benetton looks for designs that can 
easily be produced on an industrial scale, keeping costs, 
and prices to consumers, low. And, of course, she looks 
for designs that consumers will really fall for. Sur- 
rounded by colorful sketches, fabrics, and wool sam- 
ples: it all sounds like a knitter's dream come true. 

Further Reading 

Brady, Rose. "McSweater: The Benetton-ing of America," 

Working Woman (May 1986): 1 14. 
Mantle, Jonathan. Benetton: The Family, the Business, the 

Brand. London: Little, Brown, 1999. 
Miller, John Winn. "Benetton: Rags to Riches in the Rag 

Trade," Wall Street journal '(June 25, 1986): 1. 



A BISHOP, HAZEL (Hazel Gladys Bishop) 
(1906-1998) American chemist and 
businesswoman 

"It stays on YOU," proclaimed an advertisement for 
Hazel Bishop's smudge-proof lipstick, "... not on 
Him!" Beneath the caption, two lovers embrace in a 
passionate kiss. Hazel Bishop ran 309 experiments in 
her Manhattan apartment for two years before intro- 
ducing her nonsmearing, long-lasting lipstick to 
women at a Barnard College Club fashion show in 
New York City in 1949. The following year she 
formed Hazel Bishop, Incorporated, to manufacture 
her product; by 1954, the company boasted sales in 
excess of $10,000,000. Bishop's varied career 
included stints as a research chemist, a financial ana- 
lyst, a stockbroker, and an adjunct lecturer. 

Born on August 17, 1906, in Hoboken, New Jer- 
sey, to Henry and Mabel Billington Bishop, Hazel's 
business acumen was homegrown. Both her parents ran 
several small businesses at the same time, and Henry 
Bishop dabbled in the fledgling motion picture indus- 
try in New York City. Hazel graduated from the Bergen 
School for Girls in Jersey City, New Jersey, and planned 
a career as a physician. But when she completed her 
premedical degree at Barnard College in 1929, the 
stock market crashed and she altered her plans. She 
attended evening classes at Columbia University while 
working as a chemical technician during the day at the 
New York State Psychiatric Hospital and Institute. In 



60 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



1935, she accepted a position with the world-renowned 
dermatologist Dr. A. Benson Cannon, in whose labora- 
tory she worked as an organic chemist. 

Like many Americans, Bishop experienced a 
career change during World War II (1939-45). 
When the United States entered the war in 1 94 1 , the 
government proclaimed that the struggle was a "total 
war" in which all citizens must participate. Private 
enterprises, such as the petroleum industry, were 
encouraged to devote their resources to the war 
effort. For women, the draft meant an opening of 
career opportunities in traditionally male fields. Stan- 
dard Oil Development Company quickly advanced 
its new employee, Hazel Bishop, to senior organic 
chemist in its aviation fuels division (belligerent 
nations used airplanes in battle to a much greater 
degree during World War II than they had in World 
War I). Bishop's work aided the development of a 
special gasoline used to fuel bomber airplanes. 

After the war, Bishop began working for Socony- 
Vacuum Oil Company, while in the evenings she 
pursued her real dream: inventing a new type of lip- 
stick that she believed would transform the cosmetics 
industry. When she finally achieved a product she 
knew she could sell, she used the business knowledge 
she had learned from her parents and formed a com- 
pany to begin manufacturing her product, "Lasting 
Lipstick." Soon, Hazel Bishop began literally paint- 
ing the town of New York red with her new cosmetic. 
Women quickly bought up the "lipstick [that] stays 
on and on until YOU take it off!" 

Bishop hired the Raymond Spector Company 
advertising agency to handle product promotion, but 
the business relationship soon turned sour. Executive 
Raymond Spector became the major stockholder of 
Hazel Bishop, Inc., and Bishop and Spector disagreed 
on how the company should be run. In March 1952, 
Bishop filed suit against Raymond Spector Company 
and six individuals, charging diversion of assets and 
mismanagement of Hazel Bishop, Inc. (Bishop had 
resigned as president of the company in 1951). Two 
years later, the case was settled with the stipulation that 
Hazel Bishop, Inc. (of which Spector was C.E.O. and 
92 percent owner) purchase Bishop's remaining eight 
percent of the company's stock for a cash settlement of 



$295,000, in return for which Bishop agreed to sever 
all relations with her company. In the meantime, 
Bishop had formed another company called Hazel 
Bishop Laboratories, Inc. to conduct research and 
develop other household and personal care products, 
including a leather-cleaning formula and a solid per- 
fume concentrate packaged in a lipstick-shaped tube. 

In November 1962, Bishop turned to a new career 
in the world of finance. She became a stockbroker 
with the firm of Bache and Company and later 
worked as a financial analyst for Evans and Com- 
pany. In the third and final phase of her career begin- 
ning in 1978, at the age of 72, she entered the field of 
higher education by becoming an adjunct lecturer at 
the Manhattan Fashion Institute of Technology. She 
died on December 5, 1998, at the age of 92. 

In an April 1957 Miami Herald newspaper article, 
Bishop stated that "women have an insight and under- 
standing of cosmetology that a male chemist can never 
have," adding that "cosmetic chemistry is a wonderful 
field for women." Oddly, however, Bishop warned 
young women that their looks were more important 
than whatever drive and intelligence they might pos- 
sess. "Women should accentuate their most attractive 
feature," she advised. "After the age of twenty-five or so, 
personality becomes an increasingly attractive feature." 

Further Reading 

Current Biography, Marjorie Dent Candy, ed. (September 
1957). Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co., 1957. 

McHenry, Robert. Liberty's Women. Springfield, Mass.: 
G. & C. Merriam Co., 1980. 

Rossiter, Margaret W. Women Scientists in America: Before 
Affirmative Action, 1940—1972. Baltimore: Johns Hop- 
kins University Press, 1995. 



•J BRADWELL, MYRA (Myra Colby 
Bradwell) 

(1831-1894) American lawyer 
and publisher 

Myra Bradwell, touted as America's first female lawyer, 
never actually practiced law. In 1869, 1870, and again 
in 1873, courts in the United States denied her ability 
to ply her trade because she was a woman. While the 



61 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



m^J^i 




" A 



Myra Bradwell, after passing lllinois's bar exam, was 

forced to sue the state in 1873 for her to right to 

practice law. She lost and the U.S. Supreme Court 

would not extend the protection of the Fourteenth 

Amendment to women until 1971. 

Illinois State Historical Society. 



Illinois Supreme Court did finally admit her to the bar 
in 1890 — when she was nearly 60 years old — she 
chose instead to continue her work for women's rights 
through her highly successful publication, the Chicago 
Legal News. Refusing to accept the confines of being 
female in American society, she used her activism out- 
side the courts to help erase many of the restrictions 
that prevented women from obtaining full citizenship 
rights in the United States. 

Born in Manchester, Vermont, on February 12, 
1831, into a prominent family, Bradwell spent her 
childhood in New York and Illinois, then considered 
the western frontier. At the age of 19, she began 
teaching in Illinois schools, until her marriage to an 
impoverished law student, James Bolesworth Brad- 
well. The couple then moved to Memphis, Ten- 



nessee, where they both taught in a private school. In 
1854 the pair returned to Chicago, where James 
became a successful lawyer and ultimately a judge in 
Cook County. Myra Bradwell gave birth to four chil- 
dren, of whom two survived to adulthood. 

When the Illinois Supreme Court admitted James 
Bradwell to the court in 1856, he began spending his 
evenings teaching the intricacies of the law to his 
wife. Eight years later, in 1868, Myra Bradwell 
launched her own legal and publishing career with 
the first issue of her weekly publication, the Chicago 
Legal News. She acted as business manager and editor 
in chief. The paper quickly became the Northwest's 
most prestigious legal journal. 

Bradwell published the legal opinions handed 
down in recent state and federal court cases, as well as 
other legal information vital to attorneys practicing 
law in Illinois. Her editorials took on a muckraking 
tone as she attacked judges and lawyers for their lack 
of competency and moral fortitude. She urged 
reform of the Cook County Courthouse whenever 
she perceived a lack of integrity. Her column, "The 
Law Relating to Women," promoted sexual equality 
in areas of property rights and admission to law and 
other professional schools. Bradwell demanded that 
women be allowed to serve on juries in numbers 
equal to men. As her reputation for fairness and 
reform grew, lobbyists and lawyers sought her assis- 
tance in the writing of two pieces of legislation per- 
taining to women's rights. The Illinois Married 
Women's Property Act, which granted married 
women equal access to their own and their husband's 
property, passed in 1861, and the Earnings Act, 
which gave women more control over their financial 
lives, became law in 1869. In the same year, she 
organized Chicago's first woman suffrage convention. 

Buoyed by her successes, Bradwell began studying 
for the Illinois State law exam, which she passed in 
1869. She applied for admission to the bar shortly after. 
The Supreme Court of Illinois, however, denied her 
application on the grounds that as a married woman, 
she had legal disabilities that prohibited her from prac- 
ticing law. Bradwell responded by filing a brief with the 
court in which she argued that the Married Women's 
Property Act should be interpreted as allowing married 



62 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



women to enter into contract. Bradwell understood the 
purchasing of a piece of property, in which one 
exchanges money for the right of ownership, to be akin 
to entering into a contract. When she reapplied in 
1870, the court again denied her admission. Chief Jus- 
tice Charles B. Lawrence, in writing the majority opin- 
ion, stated, "that God designed the sexes to occupy 
different spheres of action, and that it belonged to men 
to make, apply, and execute laws." When the court 
denied Bradwell's application based solely upon her sex, 



£hicago Legal News. 
?Lei taincit. 

NVK.t KBADWF.LI, Kilt tor. 

rublirhe.l EVERY SATURDA Y by tht 
CHICAGO LEGAL NEWS COMPANY 
HO. st CLARK strkkt. 



TERMS: 

TWO DOLLARS AND TWENTY CENTS per annum, In 

advance. Single Copiet. TEN CENTS. 



CHICAGO, SEPTEMBER 10. 1887. 



The Cliintiro Lesflll News Office 
has been removed 1« No, SJ CLARK St., 
directly opposite the court Iioiiw. 

Illinois ILatos Vassrt in 188?. 

All the laws passed by the Legislature 
at its recent aeerion, may be bad at the 
Chicago La ffice, in law sheep 

&* ft».oo : i n pamphlet for $1.50. 

The Chicago Legal News, lllinois's most respected law 

publication, was edited by Myra Bradwell, who was 

denied the right to practice law because she was a 

married woman. 



rather than on her marital status as it had earlier, it 
avoided the issue of married women's property that 
Bradwell had raised in her brief. 

Bradwell used her Chicago Legal News to attack the 
court's decision. She took her case against the Illinois 
Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. This time, 
Bradwell's lawyer, Senator Matthew Hale Carpenter, 
argued that the court had infringed upon Bradwell's 
right to a livelihood, which was protected by the privi- 
leges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment (1868) of the U.S. Constitution. In its decision, 
rendered in 1873, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 
Illinois Supreme Court's decision to deny Bradwell 
access to the bar, by narrowly interpreting the privileges 
and immunities clause to mean only rights of citizen- 
ship, not livelihood. The right to practice law was thus 
not a right of citizenship. The courts majority opinion 
did not address Bradwell's "womanhood," but the con- 
curring opinion, written by Justice Joseph Bradley, 
stated that women's "natural and proper timidity" pre- 
vented them from working in the same fields as men. 

In 1 890, the Illinois State Supreme Court reversed 
itself, on its own initiative, and admitted Bradwell to 
the bar, and in 1892, the U.S. Supreme Court did 
likewise, waiting until Bradwell was over 60 years old 
to do so. She died of cancer two years later, on Febru- 
ary 14, 1894. Her daughter Bessie Bradwell Helmer, 
followed her mother's career in law, as well as taking 
over the publication of Chicago Legal News. 

Further Reading 

Friedman, Jane M. America's First Woman Lawyer: The 

Biography of Myra Bradwell. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus 

Books, 1993. 
Gorecki, Meg. "Legal Pioneers: Four of Illinois' First Women 

Lawyers," Illinois Bar Journal (October 1990): 510-15. 
Wheaton, Elizabeth. Myra Bradwell, First Woman Lawyer. 

Greensboro, N.C.: Morgan Reynolds, 1997. Young 

Adult. 



& CLICQUOT.VEUVE (Nicole-Barbe 
Clicquot-Ponsardin) 

(1777—1 866) French vintner and inventor 

"General Loewenhielm again set down his glass," 
wrote the acclaimed author Isak Dinesen (1885-1962) 



63 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



in her classic novel Babette's Feast, "turned to his neigh- 
bor on the right and said to him: 'But surely this is a 
Veuve Clicquot I860?'" Veuve Clicquot's wines graced 
the tables of choosy gastronomes all over Europe in the 
19th century. Today, her label is known the world over. 
Married at age 19 and widowed at 27, Nicole-Barbe 
Clicquot ran a winery business that became known all 
over Europe as "Veuve Clicquot," or "Widow Clic- 
quot," after her marital status as a widow. Now over 
200 years old, Veuve Clicquot is known primarily for 
its champagne. Clicquot's invention of the riddling 
table, designed to eliminate the sediment from the fer- 
mented white grape, while retaining champagne's sig- 
nature effervescence, explains her success. 

Veuve Clicquot's business became a household 
name through sheer tenacity, for Clicquot operated 
her winery under extremely difficult circumstances. At 
the time she took over her husband's wine operation, 
the French businesses suffered from economic block- 
ades that prevented them from trading with other 
nations. When the French emperor Napoleon 
(1769-1821), having already conquered Austria and 
Italy, prepared to invade England in May 1803, the 
British set up a naval blockade of the French coast, pre- 
venting goods from entering or exiting France. Fur- 
thermore, businesses were heavily taxed to help pay for 
Napoleon's perpetual wars. Clicquot's determination 
enabled her business to survive and even thrive. 

Clicquot's father-in-law, Philippe Clicquot- 
Muiron, a cloth merchant, added a small wine opera- 
tion to his main business in the 1770s. He began to 
ship bottled wine to customers across Europe. Bottled 
wine was unusual in 18th-century Europe. Wine 
stored in casks or barrels was easier to make and ship; 
bottles represented a risk, due to greater expense and 
risk of breakage. The strategy of selling wine to only a 
few customers — usually royal courts in Germany and 
Austria — paid off, and soon Clicquot shipped his wine 
to Russia and even America. Clicquot did not bottle 
the wine he sold; instead, he purchased already bottled 
wines from local suppliers. When Philippe Clicquot- 
Muiron died in 1800, his son, Francois, decided to 
make the business his primary occupation. 

Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, born east of Paris in 
Reims, France, was the daughter of Reims's mayor. 



She married Francois Clicquot in 1798 and gave 
birth to their daughter, Clementine. When her hus- 
band died in 1805, no one expected Veuve Clicquot 
to continue the business, for a variety of reasons. For 
one thing, women running businesses in 19th- 
century France were few and far between. Further- 
more, because of the war between England and 
France (which began in 1803) the business suffered. 
When the British blockade began the following year, 
locals expected Clicquot to sell her husband's busi- 
ness to vintners nearby. 

Nicole-Barbe's creative mind probably saved her 
business. "Champagne," or sparkling wine, is so 
named because of the region it comes from: the north- 
east corner of France called Champagne. (Be leery of 
anyone who offers to sell you champagne that is not 
bottled in France. Champagne's vintners own the 
exclusive rights to the term champagne) There, grape 
growers had developed a method of aging wines, rather 
than selling them as soon as they were casked. The 
process added to expense, and thus Champagne vint- 
ners produced wine for a small, upscale market. These 
vintners discovered that if red grapes are pressed lightly 
and quickly enough, they produce a clear, or white, 
wine. The grapes must be harvested and pressed at just 
the right moment (one man claimed that he only har- 
vested during a full moon!). 

Preparation of white, sparkling wine included 
bottling, which preserved the foam produced during 
the second fermentation of the wine. Nevertheless, 
the sparkling wine still suffered from a cloudy sedi- 
ment that formed in the bottle during fermentation. 
Veuve Clicquot invented a table de remuage, or rid- 
dling table, to clarify her wines. The riddling table 
included a series of narrow holes, which held the 
wine bottles upside down. The idea behind the table 
de remuage was to bring the sediment that formed at 
the bottom of the bottle to the top of the bottle, so 
that it could collect in the cork. Gradually, the bottle 
was then returned to its upright position, uncorked, 
emptied of the sediment, and then recorked, without 
losing any of its bubbly effervescence. 

Even with her invention, however, Clicquot faced 
difficulties in shipping her product, due to the war. 
In early 1814, however, there were signs that soon 



64 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



Napoleon would be deposed as ruler of France, and 
that the war would end. Russia had also been at war 
with France and had closed its borders to French 
businesses. Clicquot, in her businesslike manner, 
decided to gamble on her hunch: she immediately 
outfitted a ship full of wines and ordered the ship to 
set sail for St. Petersburg, Russia. At the end of 1814, 
the harbor opened, and Clicquot delivered her wines 
to her appreciative Russian clients. 

Veuve Clicquot died in 1866, at the age of 89. 

Further Reading 

Chimay, Jacqueline. The Life and Times of Madame Veuve 
Cliequot-Ponsardin. London: Curwen Press, 1961. 

Sproule, Anna. New Ideas in Industry. New York: Hamp- 
stead Press, 1988. Young Adult. 

A GERIN-LAJOIE, MARIE (Marie Lacoste 
Gerin-Lajoie) 

(1867-1945) French Canadian suffragist 

One of the very few French-speaking women identified 
with the early phase of the suffrage movement in Que- 
bec, Marie Gerin-Lajoie's participation influenced the 
provincial government to reform its laws relating to 
women and ultimately to grant women the vote. 
Gerin-Lajoie founded the Federation nationale Saint 
Jean-Baptiste (National Federation of Saint John the 
Baptist) to increase the effectiveness of women's organi- 
zations by consolidating and focusing their activities on 
legal issues. She also edited its newspaper, La bonne 
Parole (The Good Word). Later, she founded the Ligue 
des Droits de la Femme (League for the Rights of 
Women) to improve the legal status of married women 
by amending the Quebec Civil Code. Gerin-Lajoie 
authored two influential legal treatises: Traite de Droit 
usuel, 1902 (Treatise on Ordinary Rights) and La 
Femme et le code civil, 1929 (Women and the Civil 
Code). Through Gerin-Lajoie, woman suffrage became 
an acceptable issue within traditional French Canadian 
culture. However, her participation in women's rights 
came at a cost: as a devout Catholic, Gerin-Lajoie's 
activities at times put her at odds with her church. 

Like its counterparts in the United States and 
Great Britain, the Canadian woman suffrage move- 



ment began in the 1880s and reached its goal follow- 
ing World War I (1914-18), except in Quebec. 
About 80 percent of the people living in Quebec, 
Canada's largest province, are of French ancestry, 
making Quebec quite different from the rest of 
Canada. Montreal ranks second only to Paris among 
French-speaking cities in the world. About 90 per- 
cent of Quebecois are Catholics, and many Quebec 
schools teach Catholicism. Most Quebecois are 
descended from French settlers who came to the 
region during the 1600s and 1700s. The French 
colony came under British rule in 1763. However, 
not many British settlers arrived in Quebec until the 
early 1 800s; once they did, they soon controlled the 
economic and political life of the province. The 
French Canadians lived separately from the British 
and continued to follow their own ways of life. Ten- 
sions between French and English Canadians have 
erupted over issues of language and military service 
during the Great Boer War (1899-1902) and World 
Wars I (1914-18) and II (1939-45). 

Marie Gerin-Lajoie, the daughter of Sir Alexandre 
Lacoste (1842-1923), the chief justice of Quebec, 
and Marie Louise Globensky Lacoste, was born in 
Montreal on October 19, 1867, and was educated at 
the Hochelaga Convent. She acquired her extensive 
knowledge of the law solely through reading her 
father's law books and discussing law with him; she 
had no other formal legal education. Gerin-Lajoie 
developed her sense of women's inferior legal status in 
Quebec by reading about women's legal disabilities 
under the Quebec Civil Code. Marie and her hus- 
band, Henri Gerin-Lajoie, had three sons and one 
daughter, Mother Marie Gerin-Lajoie, who founded 
a religious order and who was the first francophone 
woman to receive a bachelor's degree in Quebec at 
Laval University in 1911. 

Marie Gerin-Lajoie's feminist consciousness grew 
out of her awareness that the government was usurping 
women's authority in the home. The home — tradition- 
ally the woman's sphere — and the public were no 
longer separate entities but instead were becoming 
more and more intertwined. Gerin-Lajoie noted that it 
was the government that determined the contents of 
the air people breathed, the quality of food they ate, 



65 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



and the nature of the education provided to children. 
She concluded that such decisions used to be deter- 
mined primarily by women, as mothers, but were now 
dictated by the government. For that reason, women 
needed the vote. However, as Catholics, francophone 
women did not want to disrupt the traditional family 
that supported the Catholic Church and the commu- 
nity, even while they believed that reform was needed. 

With reform in mind, 400 members of the Provin- 
cial Franchise Committee marched to the provincial 
government in Quebec City to speak to Premier Louis 
Alexandre Taschereau (1867-1952) of Quebec about 
securing woman suffrage in February 1922. Unfortu- 
nately, their efforts were in vain. After Gerin-Lajoie and 
five others delivered eloquent speeches, Taschereau 
responded with disconcerting frankness. Women 
might some day get the vote, he shrugged, but it would 
never be from him (Taschereau remained in power 
until 1936; Quebec would pass the women suffrage law 
in 1940, the last Canadian province to do so). The 
women returned to Montreal disheartened but no less 
determined to secure the franchise in their province. 

In November 1922, the Montreal women were dis- 
couraged further when, under pressure from the 
bishop of Montreal, Gerin-Lajoie resigned her posi- 
tion as francophone president of the Provincial Fran- 
chise Committee. She continued to meet with 
Montreal lawmakers regarding suffrage legislation, 
however. In March 1926, lawmakers attempted to 
extend the municipal vote to women. Gerin-Lajoie 
and two other suffragists had made an appointment to 
speak with those considering the Dillon Amendment, 
but the women were kept waiting from nine o'clock in 
the morning until almost midnight outside the locked 
chamber door. Ultimately, they were refused any audi- 
ence at all. A newspaper quoted the women as agree- 
ing that it was the most humiliating experience in 
their lives. The Dillon Amendment passed the House 
of Commons, but the Senate rejected it. 

In 1 929, Premier Taschereau surprised suffragists 
by establishing the Dorion Commission to investi- 
gate the question of reforming the Quebec Civil 
Code relating to married women's legal status. Armed 
with her treatise La Femme et le code civil, Gerin- 
Lajoie spoke in favor of allowing married women the 



ability to bring suit without their husband's consent, 
and a woman's right to her own earnings. This time, 
she succeeded, and the Quebec Civil Code was 
changed to grant women those rights. 

Although the Catholic Church remained wary of 
women's rights, Pope Pius XI (1857-1939) awarded 
Gerin-Lajoie a medal in recognition of her work for 
the welfare of women. While the pontiff's marriage 
encyclical (December 1930) warned against abortion, 
divorce, and birth control for women, a 1931 encycli- 
cal pressed for social reform. The French government 
also honored Gerin-Lajoie with an academic award. 
Marie Gerin-Lajoie died on November 1, 1945. 

Further Reading 

The Canadian Encyclopedia, Volume II Edmonton, Alberta: 

Hurtig Publishers, 1985. 
Cleverdon, Catherine L. The Woman Suffrage Movement in 

Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974. 
Dumont, Micheline. Quebec Women, A History. Toronto: 

Women's Press, 1987. 



A GREEN, HETTY (Henrietta Robinson 
Green) 

(1834-1916) American financier 

Hetty Green's stunning financial successes in the 
stock market earned her the nickname "the Witch of 
Wall Street." The Guinness Book of World Records 
listed Green as the world's greatest miser, but Hetty 
Green did not make her fortune through frugality 
(though she was, in fact, a skinflint). Rather, she cre- 
ated her wealth through wise investments, not a tal- 
ent generally ascribed to women. Shrewd investing 
and studied knowledge of finances and human psy- 
chology accounted for her stunning success. 

Her background did not hurt either. She was born 
on November 21, 1834, to Edward Mott Robinson, 
the owner of a whaling company, and Abbey Slocum 
Howland, a member of one of the oldest and wealthi- 
est New England families. At the age of 10, Hetty 
attended a Quaker boarding school for three years, but 
her real education occurred at the feet of her mother's 
father, to whom she read the pages of the financial 
news (her grandfather's eyesight was failing). Hetty 



66 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



spent most of her childhood at her maternal grandfa- 
ther's home, where her Aunt Sylvia Howland looked 
after her. 

The drive to accumulate wealth began when Hetty 
was in her twenties. When her mother died in 1860, 
Edward Robinson took her mothers entire trust fund, 
leaving Hetty with only $8,000 in real estate from her 
mothers assets. Sylvia Howland claimed that her sister 
had wanted Hetty to have the trust fund, and the fam- 
ily squabbles over money began in earnest. The rift 
that developed was so intense that Edward Robinson 
gave up his business and moved to New York City, 
while Hetty remained with her aunt. 

As the unwed Sylvia Howland's only heir, Hetty 
did everything she could to insure that her inheri- 
tance from her aunt would be bigger than what she 
received from her mother. Hetty insisted on petty 
frugalities — such as using bathwater for washing veg- 
etables — to conserve on household expenses. When 
Sylvia Howland had had enough, she banished Hetty 
from her house, and Hetty moved to her father's 
home in New York. She continued to badger her 
aunt, while at the same time cajoling her father into 
writing his will to favor his daughter. 

Both Sylvia Howland and Edward Robinson 
died in 1865. However, again Hetty felt that she got 
the short end of the stick. She expected to receive 
$7 million from both. Her father left her only 
$ 1 million outright; the rest was placed in trust. Her 
aunt bequeathed her the income from $1 million. 
This time, Hetty took her complaints to court. She 
challenged Sylvia Howland's will, claiming that 
Howland had issued a later will stipulating that much 
more of her wealth go to Hetty. A false will was duly 
produced. Experts determined that the same person 
had written all three signatures to the will. Hetty's 
opponents hired a statistician, who reported that the 
chances of three signatures being alike were one to 
2.6 septillion. The lawsuit lasted six years until finally 
it was decided against her. 

Meanwhile, Hetty Robinson married Edward 
Green, an international trader of silk. Hetty Green 
arranged a prenuptial agreement specifying that she 
would never be held responsible for Edward Green's 
debts, and that he was responsible for all household 



expenses. In an era when most state laws mandated 
that a married woman's wealth became her husband's, 
Green's prenuptial document served to protect her 
from such provisions. 

The couple had two children, Sylvia and Ned 
Green. The family moved to London, where Hetty 
invested in gold and in railroads. The Panic of 1873 
sent the Greens back to the United States, where 
Hetty shifted course and began investing in real 
estate (the Panic of 1 873 occurred when the invest- 
ment banking firm of Jay Cooke and Company col- 
lapsed; the firm had been overinvested in railroad 
securities. The depression that followed affected the 
U.S. economy for a decade). 

The Greens spent the next decade in Bellows Falls, 
Vermont, where one of the most disturbing events 
occurred in Hetty Green's life. Her son, Ned Green, 
suffered an injury from a sledding accident, and 
Hetty, always looking for ways to save money, 
allegedly refused at first to take him to a doctor. 
Later, she realized that he needed professional help, 
but she determined to take him to a free clinic. She 
disguised both herself and her son and took him in 
for treatment. Doctors discovered her true identity 
and insisted that she pay. In the meantime, Ned's leg 
developed gangrene and had to be amputated. 

In 1885, Hetty Green and her husband separated 
when Edward Green's business failed. He was over 
$700,000 in debt. The Greens kept separate bank 
accounts, but both accounts were at the Cisco Bank. 
Officials at Cisco demanded that Hetty make good on 
her husband's debts. Hetty had more than $25 million 
in money and securities at Cisco, and she responded to 
their demands by threatening to remove all of it and 
take it to Chemical National Bank. Cisco refused to 
retract its demand. After two weeks of tantrums in the 
bank president's office, Hetty Green paid the debt, 
threw her husband out of the house, and loaded a han- 
som cab with her money and drove to Chemical 
National Bank. Cisco Bank collapsed as a result, and 
financier Jay Gould (1836-92) had to step in to pre- 
vent further financial panic. 

By 1900, Hetty Green began exhibiting the 
bizarre behavior that led to the moniker "Witch of 
Wall Street." Green was a wizard. She knew precisely 



67 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



how and when to start rumors that she was either 
going to sell or buy a particular stock, which would 
then cause investors to behave in predictable ways 
and make the price of the stock fluctuate in her favor. 
But the "witch" had other tricks up her sleeve to 
insure that her money remain her own. She refused 
to establish a residence anywhere, moving constantly 
from crummy apartments in Hoboken, New Jersey, 
and back to cold-water flats in New York. The pur- 
pose, of course, was to evade having to pay taxes. She 
wore the same clothes — an old-fashioned black 
dress — day in and day out. She let her hair go with- 
out getting it styled. She lived frugally until the day 
she died, with one exception: she enjoyed a few 
months of luxury during her daughter's wedding. She 
died at her son's apartment on July 3, 1916. 

Would Hetty Green's death cause the same quar- 
rels for her children as her relatives' deaths had caused 
for her? Green took care to ensure equal treatment of 
her two children: both received the exact same 
amount in her will. However, the two sure things in 
life — death and taxes — finally got the better of Hetty 
Green. Sylvia and Ned Green had to pay $50,000 in 
taxes on their mother's estate. 

Further Reading 

Flynn, John Thomas. Men of Wealth: The Story of Twelve 
Significant Fortunes from the Renaissance to the Present 
Day. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1941. 

Lewis, Arthur H. The Day They Shook the Plum Tree. New 
York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1963. 

Menand, Louis. "She Had to Have It," New Yorker (April 
23 & 30, 2001): 62-70. 

Wyckoff, Peter. "Queen Midas: Hetty Robinson Green." 
New England Quarterly 23 (June 1950): 147-71. 



KADEER, REBIYA 

(1949- ) Uyghi, 



• businesswoman 



In November 1997, businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer 
launched her "Thousand Mothers Movement" to 
advance the economic opportunities of Uyghur women 
at her store in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous 
Region, a province in northwestern China. The 



"Thousand Mothers" met again in December to hear 
Kadeer lecture on the social and cultural power of 
women, and her desire to help Uyghur mothers gain 
much needed business education and experience. The 
"Thousand Mothers" reconvened later the same 
month, but in February 1998, government authorities 
froze the organization's financial assets, and the group 
disbanded. A businesswoman since she was a teenager, 
Kadeer, also known as the "millionaire woman of Xin- 
jiang," has been in prison since August 1999, under the 
charge of providing secret information to foreigners. 
The human rights organization Amnesty International 
has documented Kadeer's plight. 

Silk trader Kadeer, described as Xinjiang Uyghur 
Autonomous Regions richest entrepreneur by Wall 
Street Journal reporter Kathy Chen, was born to a bar- 
ber and used to earn her living by smuggling and by 
washing and ironing clothing. She became a success by 
selling lambskin hats in Xinjiang Province, and then 
decided to go into trade with other Chinese provinces, 
according to Chen. As of 1994, the Muslim business- 
woman owned eight companies, including her flagship 
Xinjiang Akida Industry and Trade Company. 

Xinjiang Uyghur (sometimes spelled Uighur or 
Uygur) Autonomous Region borders Mongolia to the 
northeast; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to 
the northwest; Afghanistan to the southwest; and the 
Chinese provinces of Gansu and Qinghai to the east. 
Xinjiang was on the Silk Road, an ancient trade route 
that connected the Middle East and Europe with 
China. Kublai Khan (1215-94), founder of the Mon- 
gol, or Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), conquered the ter- 
ritory in the 13th century. In the 18th century, 
Xinjiang came under the control of the Qing Dynasty 
(1644—1912) and became a Chinese province in 1884. 
Semi-independent warlords dominated Xinjiang's gov- 
ernment until the Communist Revolution in 1949. In 
1955, the region became known as the Xinjiang 
Autonomous Region with its capital city located at 
Urumqi, home to about a million inhabitants. 

Over the past decade, China has come under 
severe criticism for its treatment of ethnic minorities 
living in China, particularly the Uyghur population. 
The Uyghur people suffer discrimination, high 
unemployment, and restrictions on their religious 



68 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



and cultural freedoms (Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims). 
There are more than 40 different ethnic groups living 
in Xinjiang Province; the Uyghur people constitute 
approximately half of the population. Most of the 
world's seven million Uyghurs live in Xinjiang. Since 
industrialization and the discovery of minerals — 
including zinc, lead, copper, and tungsten — in Xin- 
jiang, the Chinese government has been accused of 
relocating Han Chinese people to Xinjiang, in an 
effort to dominate the Uyghur population. 

Rebiya Kadeer was married to Sidik Rouzi at the age 
of 16; the couple had 10 children. Kadeer began her 
business career by selling children's clothing out of her 
home. She dabbled in a number of other business ven- 
tures, including a successful fur retail outlet. She 
invested profits from the business in a market in 
Urumqi. By 1987, the market had generated enough 
funds to upgrade the site. A seven-story building, 
known by Urumqi inhabitants as "the Kadeer building" 
has dominated the Urumqi skyline since 1992. Two 
years later, Kadeer could boast a total of eight busi- 
nesses under her control. When the U.S.S.R. broke up 
in 1991, Kadeer began trading in the newly established 
autonomous republics as well. In 1995, she was elected 
delegate to the United Nations Fourth World Confer- 
ence on Women held in Beijing. 

In March 1997, Rebiya Kadeer waited at the air- 
port for her flight to Kazakhstan, where she had 
hoped to conduct some business. Police confiscated 
her passport just as she tried to board the plane. The 
previous year, her husband, Sidik Rouzi, had written 
antigovernment editorials in the newspaper and then 
departed for the United States, where he was granted 
asylum. The Chinese government accused Rouzi of 
fomenting support for the separation of Xinjiang 
Uyghur Autonomous Region from the People's 
Republic of China. Five of Kadeer and Rouzi's chil- 
dren emigrated to the United States soon after. 

The Chinese government then banned Kadeer 
from seeking reelection to the seat she had held on 
the Chinese People's Political Consultative Confer- 
ence, an organization formed in 1949 to promote 
socialist democracy in China under the leadership of 
the Chinese Communist Party. When asked to com- 
ment on the ban, Wang Lequan, the region's Com- 



munist Party secretary, said that Kadeer had been 
banished from elections because her businesses were 
failing, and because of Rouzi's alleged rabble-rousing 
activities in the United States. 

On August 11, 1999, the Chinese government 
authorities arrested Kadeer in Urumqi while she was 
on her way to meet with members of the U.S. Con- 
gressional Research Service. (The Congressional 
Research Service is a branch of the Library of Con- 
gress that provides nonpartisan analytical, research, 
and reference services for members of the U.S. Con- 
gress.) The following month, Kadeer was charged 
with providing secret information to foreigners 
(reports were issued later stating that the "informa- 
tion" Kadeer provided the U.S. Congressional 
Research Service was nothing more than newspaper 
clippings). As of 2002, Kadeer still languishes in Bai- 
jiahu Prison. The human rights group Amnesty 
International considers her a prisoner of conscience 
whose rights to freedom of expression and association 
have been needlessly restricted. 

Further Reading 

Chen, Kathy. "From Laundry Lady to China's Richest 
Uigher, Kadeer Epitomizes Modern-Day Silk Road 
Trader," The Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly, vol. 16, 
no. 39 (Sept. 26, 1994): 11. 

"China Hands Eight-year Jail Term to Uighur Muslim 
Woman for Separatism," Agence France Presse (March 
11,2000). 

Eckholm, Erik. "Chinese Muslim is Given 8-year Sen- 
tence," The New York Times (March 11, 2000): A4. 

. "Fight over a Chinese Prisoner Goes Public," The 

New York Times (Feb. 10, 2000): A18. 



A LOCKWOOD, BELVA (Belva Ann 
Bennett McNall) 

(1830-1917) American lawyer 
and political activist 

Belva Lockwood embodied the ideal of lifelong learn- 
ing. Her career took many turns as a result: she taught 
school, practiced law, and campaigned during her 
presidential candidacy. She was the first woman to 



69 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



receive votes in a presidential election as the nominee 
of the Equal Rights Party (1884), and the first woman 
to practice law in the Supreme Court of the United 
States after successfully lobbying the U.S. Congress to 
pass a bill authorizing women to be admitted to the 
U.S. Supreme Court bar in 1879. The undercurrent of 
her life's work was the righting of social injustices. 

Belva Ann Bennett was the second child born to 
Hannah Green and Lewis Johnson Bennett of Royal- 
ton, Niagara County, New York, on October 24, 
1830. She left school at the age of 15 to teach in a 
one-room school in upstate New York, where she 
spoke out publicly against gender discrimination. 
She had discovered that as a woman, she made half as 
much money teaching school as her male colleagues 
did. Four years later, she met and married a sawmill 
operator and farmer, Uriah McNall. He died in a 




Belva Lockwood was the first female lawyer 

to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints 

and Photographs Division. 



sawmill accident in 1853, leaving Belva to raise their 
only child, Laura, by herself. 

Belva Lockwood began work on a college degree at 
Genesee College (later Syracuse University), where she 
earned her bachelor's degree in science four years later. 
In September 1857, she accepted a position as princi- 
pal of Lockport Union School, becoming reacquainted 
with gender discrimination: once again, a male princi- 
pal received twice as much pay. During this phase of 
her career, Lockwood became an education reformer 
after hearing Susan B. ANTHONY lecture on women's 
rights at a teachers' conference. Lockwood introduced 
"radical" subjects such as botany, physical education, 
and public speaking to her female students at Lockport 
Union School (see Dorothea BEALE for similar 19th- 
century education reforms in England). 

After the end of the Civil War (1861-65), Lock- 
wood moved to Washington, D.C., where she 
opened one of the first coeducational academies in 
the nation's capital. In her spare time, she attended 
public hearings, congressional debates, political ral- 
lies, and trials. Becoming interested in the nature of 
political power, she decided to pursue a law degree. 
She had married Dr. Ezekiel Lockwood, a Baptist 
minister and dentist who had agreed to take over 
operating her school, so the idea seemed feasible. She 
ran into a brick wall, however, when she could not 
find a law school in Washington, D.C., that would 
admit a female student. One school president, Rev- 
erend G. W. Samson, told her that "the attendance of 
ladies would be an injurious diversion of the atten- 
tions of the students." Samson apparently could only 
think of women in relation to how they affected men. 

In 1871, Belva Lockwood and several other 
women students were admitted to Washington, 
D.C.'s new National University Law School. As a law 
student, Lockwood cofounded the first suffrage 
organization in the nation's capital and lobbied for 
passage of legislation to liberalize the property rights 
of women. When she completed her studies, in 1873, 
the school tried to deny all female graduates their 
degrees. The women were told that the male students 
did not want to graduate with their female counter- 
parts. Furthermore, Lockwood was told that the 
Supreme Court would deny her entrance to the bar 



70 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



in Washington, D.C. President Ulysses S. Grant, the 
ex-officio president of the law school, arranged for 
her diploma and for her admission to the bar (the 
first woman admitted to the bar anywhere in the 
United States was Arabella Mansfield Babb, in 1869). 

In one of her most famous cases, Lockwood won a 
$5 million U.S. land claim settlement in favor of the 
Eastern Cherokee Indians. She also fought for the 
right of women to try cases in state and federal courts 
throughout the nation. Ironically, however, 14 years 
after the Supreme Court admitted Lockwood to the 
bar, it reversed itself by upholding the state of Vir- 
ginia's law that denied her the right to practice law 
because she was a woman (the case was called in re 
Lockwood, 1893). 

In 1884, she entered presidential politics, becom- 
ing the nominee of the Equal Rights Party. Lock- 
wood is considered the first "viable" female 
presidential candidate in the United States, even 
though Victoria WOODHULL ran in 1872. Woodhull 
was under 35 at the time — the U.S. Constitution 
requires a president to be over the age of 35 — and she 
was in jail during much of her campaign. Lockwood 
was renominated in 1888. 

Lockwood added the cause of world peace to the 
long list of social injustices for which she fought, 
until ill health caught up with her. She died on May 
19, 1917, as the United States entered World War I. 

Further Reading 

Calabro, Marian. Great Courtroom Lawyers: Fighting the 

Cases That Made History. New York: Facts On File, 1996. 
Emert, Phyllis Raybin. Top Lawyers and Their Famous 

Cases. Minneapolis: Oliver Press, 1996. 
Fox, Mary Virginia. Lady for the Defense: A Biography of 

Belva Lockwood. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 

1975. 



A LUKENS, REBECCA (Rebecca Webb 
Pennock Lukens) 

(1794-1854) American businesswoman 

Like many businesswomen of her time, pioneer iron 
manufacturer Rebecca Lukens came to her empire 
through the death of a male relative (see also Veuve 



CLICQUOT). Lukens achieved a remarkable degree of 
success against formidable odds at a time when most 
women ran households instead of businesses. Lukens's 
role in industry brought her personal satisfaction and 
wealth, but it had national consequences as well. 
Indeed, Lukens's company, Brandywine Iron Works, 
benefited from — and helped propel — the Industrial 
Revolution in the early national period of U.S. history. 

Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on Janu- 
ary 6, 1794, Rebecca was the daughter of Martha 
Webb and Isaac Pennock. Isaac Pennock operated the 
Federal Slitting Mill at Bucks Run in Chester 
County. (Slitting mills produced sheets of iron that 
could be slit into strips for making the hoops that 
held barrels together; barrels were used to transport 
whiskey.) Pennock had a knack for correctly prejudg- 
ing the course that the history of his country would 
take, a trait that his daughter inherited. He knew 
that, after independence was declared and the Revo- 
lutionary War (1775-83) won, the new nation might 
no longer rely on goods from England. In addition, 
he knew that industrialists would need to produce 
goods for growing markets within the United States. 
In 1810, Pennock met another businessman, Jesse 
Kersey, who agreed to a partnership. Kersey's father- 
in-law, Moses Coates, sold property to the two men 
that they used to expand and convert a sawmill into 
an iron manufactory. Soon, the partners were supply- 
ing builders with iron nails made at Brandywine Iron 
Works and Nail Factory. 

Isaac and Martha Pennock's house in Chester 
County included nine children; Rebecca Pennock 
was the oldest surviving child. The Pennocks' Quaker 
household emphasized hard work and learning for 
both sexes. Rebecca had several years of education at 
private academies, beginning at the age of 12. Her 
favorite subjects at school were chemistry — which 
would serve her well in the iron business — and 
French. In 1810, when Isaac Pennock's purchase of 
Coates's land necessitated a business trip to Philadel- 
phia, he took his eldest daughter with him. Father 
and daughter met Dr. Charles Lukens, a physician 
with a practice in Abington, Pennsylvania. The 
romance between Rebecca and Lukens blossomed 
into marriage in 1813. Lukens gave up his medical 



71 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



practice to join his father-in-law in the iron business. 
The couple lived at Brandywine, where Rebecca 
Lukens gave birth to their six children over the next 
12 years (only three of whom survived to adulthood). 

Lukens proved himself an able industrialist; like his 
father-in-law and his wife, he foresaw the growing 
demand for iron boilerplates, which were used with 
steam engines. James Watt (1736-1819) had invented 
the steam engine in 1769, which in turn had revolu- 
tionized transportation systems throughout the indus- 
trializing world. Steam engines utilize boilers, metal 
containers in which a liquid is heated and changed 
into steam, to propel turbines that drive engines. 
Lukens wisely converted the Brandywine mill from a 
nail to a boilerplate factory. The first iron-hulled vessel 
in the Unites States, the Codorus, ordered plates from 
the Brandywine firm. 

Tragedy struck the Pennock and Lukens house- 
holds in 1824 and 1825. Isaac Pennock died in 1824 
and left an ambiguous will that did not clearly name 
an heir to his estate, a problem that haunted Rebecca 
Lukens for almost the rest of her life. The following 
year, when she was pregnant with their sixth child, 
Charles Lukens died. Rebecca grieved mightily for 
both her losses. In addition, she was in a quandary 
about what to do next. The conversion in the 
Brandywine mill had left the company heavily in 
debt. Given the uncertainty regarding exactly who 
held title to the company, it may well have seemed 
that the best and easiest thing for Rebecca to do 
would be to sell the whole lot to the highest bidder. 
But on his deathbed, her husband had begged her to 
continue his iron-making legacy. Rebecca gathered 
her strength and made her next move. 

Since childhood, Lukens had followed her father 
throughout his business dealings, so she knew the ins 
and outs of managing the mill: purchasing supplies, 
executing contracts, and determining prices for prod- 
ucts. She was, for a woman of her time, reasonably 
well educated. In addition, she had a brother-in-law, 
Solomon Lukens, who was willing to oversee produc- 
tion at the mill. 

One of the most formidable problems Lukens faced 
was transportation, which also became the very means 
by which she would prove her mettle as an industrialist. 



In the pre-railroad era, waterways provided cheap and 
quick transport, but only during temperate weather. In 
winter months when rivers froze over, Lukens had to 
move her product overland, paying teamsters $4 a ton. 
The problem was solved beginning in the 1830s, when 
rail lines were established. With rail transport, Lukens 
could expand her customer base beyond the 75-mile 
radius that transportation problems and costs had held 
her to in earlier times. Not only did the railways solve 
her transportation problem, they also became her 
newest customer. Like steamships, early rail systems 
also depended upon iron boilerplates. Thanks to 
Lukens's foresight, Brandywine began manufacturing 
boilerplates for steam locomotives. By 1844, Brandy- 
wine produced boilerplates for ship and rail manufac- 
turers all up and down the northeastern seaboard, and 
in New Orleans. Lukens's personal net worth had 
reached $60,000 (1,395,349 in 2001 dollars). 

In 1853, the court case involving her father's will 
finally ended, and Lukens received a generous inheri- 
tance and clear title to the company. She died on 
December 10, 1854, at home near Coatesville. In 
1859, the company was renamed Lukens Iron Works 
(later Lukens Steel) in her honor. "I had built a very 
superior mill . . . and our character for making boiler 
iron stood first in the market, hence we had as much 
business as we could do. There was difficulty and 
danger on every side," Rebecca Lukens admitted 
toward the end of her life. "Now I look back and 
wonder at my daring." 

Further Reading 

Stein, Leon. Lives to Remember: Women in America from 
Colonial Times to the Twentieth Century. New York: 
Arno Press, 1974. 

Wolcott, Robert Wilson. A Woman in Steel: Rebecca Lukens. 
New York: Newcomen Society, 1940. 

A O'CONNOR, SANDRA DAY 
(1930- ) American attorney 
and Supreme Court justice 

When Sandra Day passed the bar examination in the 
state of California in 1952, by all accounts she should 
have looked forward to a multitude of job offers from 



72 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 




Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1 98 1 . 

Courtesy National Archives. 



the most prestigious law firms in the state. She had 
graduated third out of a class of 102 at Stanford Uni- 
versity, and she had been chosen to edit the influential 
Stanford Law Review. The only "opportunity" she 
received, however, was an offer to be a legal secretary, 
not a lawyer. Undaunted by this early setback, Sandra 
Day O'Connor went on to become the first woman to 
serve as justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed 
by President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) in 1981. 
Despite the fact that being a woman had placed obsta- 
cles in her career path, O'Connor has not been a femi- 
nist justice. Indeed, at least one court watcher views 
O'Connor's voting record on the bench as colored 
more by her identity as a westerner than as a woman. 

Born on March 26, 1930, Sandra Day grew up on 
the Lazy B Ranch on the Arizona-New Mexico bor- 



der, a ranch that had been in her family since 1881. 
Often described as a child of the frontier, Day in her 
childhood lived in a ranch house that had no electric- 
ity or running water. "We played with dolls," she said 
to a Time magazine reporter, "but we knew what to do 
with a screwdriver and nails." By the time she left for 
school, she was branding cattle and fixing fence lines. 
Her parents decided that schools in rural Arizona 
would hinder their obviously bright daughter, so San- 
dra lived with her grandmother in El Paso, Texas, 
attended the private Radford School for Girls, and 
then graduated from Austin High School. At age 16, 
Sandra Day was a freshman at Stanford University. She 
graduated magna cum laude in 1950, after studying 
economics. She enrolled in law classes even before she 
graduated and, in 1952, finished her law degree. Her 



73 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



graduating class included future Supreme Court Jus- 
tice William H. Rehnquist, who finished in first place. 

Since no offers worth taking came her way from 
private law firms, Day accepted a position as deputy 
county attorney in San Mateo, California, until her 
husband, John Jay O'Connor, finished his law degree 
at Stanford. The two then left for Frankfurt, Ger- 
many, where John O'Connor worked as an attorney 
for the U.S. Army and Sandra O'Connor as a civilian 
quartermaster attorney (a quartermaster is an army 
officer who oversees housing, transportation, and 
ammunition for troops). 

When the couple returned to the United States in 
1957, they relocated in Phoenix, and Sandra O'Con- 
nor spent much of the next few years raising her three 
boys. At the same time, she and another attorney 
opened a law office in suburban Maryvale, Arizona, 
where O'Connor worked part-time, serving on a 
county zoning appeal board and becoming active in 
local Republican politics. 

In 1969, her political career began in earnest. 
Governor Jack Williams appointed her to fill a state 
Senate seat that had been vacated. In 1972, her 
Republican colleagues chose her to become their 
majority leader (Republicans held a majority of seats 
in the Arizona State Senate at the time), an honor 
never before bestowed upon a female legislator. In 
1979, an Arizona governor from the opposite party, 
Democrat Bruce Babbitt, appointed her to the Ari- 
zona Court of Appeals (an ironic twist, since her 
Republican Party boosters wanted her to run against 
Babbitt in the upcoming election). 

Two years later, during the final month of the 
1980 presidential campaign, political pollsters told 
candidate Ronald Reagan that there was a distinct 
lack of support for him among female voters. To 
appease them, Reagan promised that, if elected, he 
would appoint a female Supreme Court justice. He 
made good on that promise, and the U.S. Senate gave 
its unanimous consent to her nomination in 1981. 
Many people wondered what kind of a judge Sandra 
Day O'Connor would make. 

O'Connor had been a founder of both the Ari- 
zona "Women Lawyers Association and the National 
Association of Women Judges. She had fought to 



insure women's equal access to the bar in Arizona and 
had been an early supporter of the Equal Rights 
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which failed 
to be ratified by enough states by 1982, the deadline 
set by Congress. However, she backed away from her 
position regarding the ERA when Arizona's two 
Republican senators came out against it. The ERA 
stated that "Equality of Rights under the law shall 
not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or by any State 
on account of sex." First introduced into the U.S. 
Congress in 1923, it was finally approved by the U.S. 
Senate 49 years later in March 1972. It fell short of 
the requisite 38 states needed to ratify by 1982 and 
has not been resurrected since. Similarly, many con- 
servatives had feared she would support the right of a 
woman to have an abortion; however, thus far she has 
voted primarily in opposition to it, with the impor- 
tant exception of 1 992 when, in a challenge to abor- 
tion rights in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 
she sided with the majority voting to uphold Roe v. 
Wade (1973). 

By and large, however, conservatives have approved 
of the O'Connor appointment. As Edward Lazarus 
pointed out, she comes down on the side of law and 
order in most cases, and she has proven to be a staunch 
states' rightist (that is, she votes in favor of the states 
exercising more power, rather than the federal govern- 
ment). Furthermore, she voted with the majority to 
strike down the core of the federal Brady Act antigun 
legislation, requiring background checks on prospective 
gun purchasers. States' rights, law and order, pro-gun 
legislation are all hot-button issues in the American 
intermountain West, where conservative politics are the 
order of the day. Regardless of how she votes in the 
Supreme Court, however, Sandra Day O'Connor has 
blazed a trail for women all across the United States. In 
1997, she earned the American Bar Association Medal, 
the ABA's highest honor. 

Further Reading 

Cannon, Carl. "Sandra Day O'Connor: The First Woman 
Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court," Working Woman, 
vol. 21, no. 11 (Nov./Dec. 1996): 54. 

LaCayo, Richard. "The Justice in the Middle," Time, vol. 
134, no. 2 (July 9, 1990): 27. 



74 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



Lazarus, Edward. "The Geography of Justice: Big Deci- 
sions by the Supreme Court Turn on the Regional 
Background of the Justices," U.S. News and World 
Report, vol. 123, no. 1 (July 7, 1997): 20-27. 

McElroy, Lisa Tucker, and Courtney O'Connor. Meet My 
Grandmother: She's a Supreme Court Justice. Brookfield, 
Conn.: Millbrook Press, Inc., 2000. Young Adult. 



A OKWEI, OMU (Okwei d'Onitsha) 

(1872-1943) Nigerian businesswoman 

When Nigerian merchant Omu Okwei strode the 
streets of Onitsha, Nigeria, during her coronation as 
Market Queen, she wore regalia of ivory bracelets 
and anklets, strings of coral beads, a gilt-edged 
crown, and a rich velvet gown with a floral imprint. 
The fortune amassed by Okwei, coupled with her 
stellar reputation as a fair-minded businesswoman, 
explained her ascension to the station she had 
achieved. By the time of her death, her wealth would 
be impressive, indeed: she was one of the first Nige- 
rians to possess an automobile, and she owned 24 
homes and a wealth of coral, ivory, and gold. 
Okwei's fortune also represents the resilience of tra- 
ditional tribal culture in Nigeria, where European 
businessmen attempted to alter the primacy of 
women's roles in trade. Omu Okwei was elected 
Market Queen and president of the Council of 
Mothers, a political and economic powerhouse that 
determined trade relations, settled disputes, deter- 
mined prices, and oversaw the general welfare of the 
village. Although the presence of British tradesmen 
in Nigeria reduced the power of the Council of 
Mothers, Omu Okwei stood as a symbol of contin- 
ued female control of the local economy. 

Okwei's life spans an important shift in Nigeria's 
economy. British authorities first annexed the former 
Nigerian capital of Lagos in 1861. By 1914, the entire 
region had become a crown colony of Great Britain. 
Beginning in the early 1900s, British merchants 
opened Nigeria's interior to the busy port trade along 
Africa's gold coast, resulting in the development of cash 
as a medium of exchange, and the building of roads 
and railroads to enhance commercialization. Whereas 
previously, Nigerian men had acted as agents between 



European traders and interior producers, the develop- 
ment of trade routes resulted in European businessmen 
conducting transactions directly with producers, elimi- 
nating the need for middlemen. Goods purchased by 
Europeans were generally bought at open-air markets 
operated by women, because in traditional Igbo cul- 
ture, local trade and market control was "women's 
work." However, as the agriculture-based economy 
shifted gradually to supporting manufacturing and 
industry, women lost much of their economic control. 
In fact, in 1916, control of Onitsha's market was trans- 
ferred from the Council of Mothers to the Onitsha 
Town Council. 

Okwei was born in the bustling trade town of Osso- 
mari to a regal family of potentates who had been suc- 
cessful traders for generations. In addition, her father, 
Osuna Afubeho, descended from King Nzedegwu, 
won admiration as a warrior. Nzedegwu negotiated 
commercial treaties with British traders in 1854 and 
later invited Catholic missionaries to Ossomari. 
Okwei's maternal great-grandfather had arranged 
treaties between the British and the village of Abo in 
the 1830s. 

Despite her formidable background, however, 
Omu Okwei rose from humble beginnings, primarily 
because of the ire her marriages evoked among her 
family. After a four-year apprenticeship under her 
aunt, during which time she learned the important 
language of trade, Igala, Okwei married Joseph Allagoa 
in 1888. Under Igbo custom, women may not inherit 
property except through the dowry. However, as 
Okwei's parents did not approve of Allagoa, Okwei 
began her adult life with no capital. Allagoa, one of the 
traditional middlemen that conducted business 
arrangements between Europeans and interior produc- 
ers, was squeezed out of the process when the British- 
owned Royal Niger Company seized control of trade 
along the Niger River. Okwei's first marriage, which 
produced one son, dissolved within the year. 

Okwei made the best of a bad situation by starting a 
business on her own. Through Allagoa, she made valu- 
able contacts with European traders and African agents. 
She bought an assortment of food items in exchange 
for imported goods that she bought from agents on 
credit. She sold the food to consumers at premium 



75 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



prices, making good on the loan in addition to securing 
a tidy profit for herself. Thus began one of the most 
illustrious business careers in Nigeria. 

In 1895, Okwei married a man named Opene, the 
son of a wealthy woman from Abo. Again, Okwei's rel- 
atives did not approve of the match; Opene was not of 
royal stock, they reasoned, and he had no means of 
making a living. Nevertheless, the marriage proved 
beneficial to Okwei's business aspirations. The couple 
settled in Onitsha, a growing center of trade. Okwei 
immediately expanded her business to include local 
goods — palm oil, tobacco, and cotton — and imported 
goods. By 1915, she had overcome her initial lack of 
capital and began carefully reinvesting her profits 
through shrewd — if not exploitative — means. She 
acquired a cadre of domestic servants who acted as her 
public relations agents and promoted her business 
among clients (she paid them only for the service for 
which she had engaged the women, and she received 
their secondary service for free). In some cases, Okwei 
"adopted" her servants and gave them to businessmen 
in marriage. Through these arrangements, she gained 
"most-favored" status in business transactions she con- 
ducted. By the 1930s, Onitsha, too, gained similar 
"most-favored" status as a trade center, largely through 
Okwei's empire. 

Despite the increasing control English busi- 
nesses wielded over the Nigerian economy, the 
career of Omu Okwei testifies to the ability of 
smart businesswomen to continue to play a key role 
in Nigerian commerce. Okwei refused to adopt the 
Christian ways and urged her constituents to heed 
the Igbo traditions. She herself used traditional 
charms that she believed promoted good health 
and profitable trade. Onitsha's inhabitants erected a 
life-size marble statue of the Market Queen to 
mark her death in 1943. 

Further Reading 

Coquery-Vidrovitch, Catherine. African Women: A Modern 
History. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997. 

Ekejiuba, Felicia. "Omu Okwei, the Merchant Queen of 
Ossomar: A Biographical Sketch," Journal of the His- 
torical Society of Nigeria, vol. 3, no. 4 (June 1967): 
633-46. 



A PEDERSEN,HELGA 

(1911- ) Danish lawyer and politician 

In 1953, Minister of Justice Helga Pedersen received 
one of the highest honors bestowed upon a Danish 
government official: she kicked a soccer ball onto the 
field before an important soccer match. In 1971, 
Pedersen was honored again when she became the 
first woman judge on the European Court of 
Human Rights, established in 1950 to enforce cer- 
tain rights outlined in the 1948 United Nations 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pedersen 
continually climbed up the ladder throughout her 
career in government and politics. While living in 
the United States, she graduated from Columbia 
University in New York City and then worked for 
the U.S. Department of Justice for 10 years. After 
serving as district judge in Copenhagen, Denmark, 
she served as minister of justice and then won her 
campaign for a seat in Denmark's Parliament (called 
the Folketing). Next, she became judge in the Court 
of Appeals and finally reached the highest judicial 
appointment in Denmark: Supreme Court Justice. 
Moving onto the international political scene, Peder- 
sen served on the United Nations Commission on 
the Status of Women. Her career culminated with an 
invitation to serve on the European Court of 
Human Rights. 

Helga Pedersen was born in Taarnborg and edu- 
cated at Copenhagen University and Columbia Uni- 
versity. To practice law in Denmark, she had to have 
secured a letter of appointment from the minister of 
justice, to have graduated from a Danish university, and 
to have three years practical training in a law firm. Den- 
mark's government, and its legal system, has been con- 
sidered one of the most liberal in 19th-century Europe. 

Denmark became a constitutional monarchy in 
1849, when the nation adopted its first written con- 
stitution. The document mandated representative 
government based on a judicial branch that operated 
independent courts, and a legislative branch in which 
authority rested jointly in the king (until 1955 
women could not ascend the throne; Queen Mar- 
grethe II has ruled the nation since 1972) and elected 
representatives. In the third executive branch of gov- 



76 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



ernment, the crown shares power with cabinet minis- 
ters. The 1953 Danish Constitution abolished the 
upper chamber of the Parliament; the remaining 
Folketing consists of 179 members, each elected to 
four-year terms. From 1950 to 1953, Helga Pedersen 
held the post of minister of justice; she served in the 
Folketing from 1953 to 1964. In government, Peder- 
sen worked on behalf of prison and penal reform and 
on improvement in the legal status of women. 

The goal of Denmark's Equal Rights Council has 
been to eliminate discrimination based on sex in 
Danish political and social life. Women hold posi- 
tions of authority at all levels of Danish society, 
though not in numbers commensurate to the popula- 
tion (in 1986, women held about 26% of the seats in 
the Folketing and headed three cabinet ministries). 
Women are generally paid less than men; during eco- 
nomic recessions, the unemployment rate for women 
is usually about twice that of men. 

Helga Pedersen's interest in human rights grew 
out of her work in women's rights. Human rights in 
Denmark are enforced by the ombudsman, who is 
appointed by the Folketing to investigate citizens' 
complaints against actions or decisions made by the 
government. The idea of an ombudsman originated 
in Sweden in 1809 and has spread to other European 
countries and Japan. The ombudsman generally deals 
with allegations regarding police actions, prosecuting 
attorneys, or judges, in matters such as housing, taxa- 
tion, welfare rights, and voting. The ombudsman 
may dismiss the case, or seek to correct it, or may rec- 
ommend prosecution. When Helga Pedersen was 
minister of justice, she made these comments about 
the Ombudsman Bill introduced in the Folketing 
shortly after she assumed the position: 

The proposal to appoint an Ombudsman marks a 
new departure in Danish law. Although the Bill is 
quite short and intelligible, it has to be realized that 
its consequences will be far-reaching, not only for 
those civil servants and others who are covered by 
the Bill, but for the rule of law in society in general. 

Given Pedersen's experiences in the area of 
women's rights together with her legal expertise and 



judicial experiences, she was a natural for the 
appointment to the United Nations' Commission 
on the Status of Women. The UN was formed in 
1945 during the final phases of World War II 
(1939-45) "to save succeeding generations from the 
scourge of war . . . [and] to reaffirm faith in human 
rights ..." according to its charter. More specifi- 
cally, Article 1, Paragraph 3, states that the UN shall 
act in "promoting and encouraging respect for 
human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all 
without distinction as to race, sex, language, or reli- 
gion." The UN Commission on Human Rights, 
created in 1946 and chartered by Eleanor ROO- 
SEVELT, developed an informal Bill of Human 
Rights and a separate Commission on the Status of 
Women, also organized in 1946. 

Helga Pedersen has also served on numerous com- 
mittees in the Danish Folketing, including those on 
higher education issues and copyright infringements. 

Further Reading 

O'Neill, Lois Decker. The Women's Book of World Records 
and Achievements. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor 
Press/Doubleday, 1979. 

Uglow, Jennifer. The Continuum Dictionary of Women's 
Biography. New York: Continuum, 1989. 



A REIBEY, MARY (Mary Haydock Reibey) 

(1777—1855) Australian businesswoman 

Mary Reibey became Australia's most successful busi- 
nesswoman of the 19th century. Her husband, Thomas 
Reibey, began a series of successful entrepreneurial 
adventures during the Reibeys' marriage. When her 
husband died, Mary Reibey proved her business acu- 
men by improving her husband's companies and start- 
ing a few of her own. Like many Australians of the 
time, Reibeys start was rather inauspicious: she arrived 
in Australia a convicted criminal. 

Mary Reibey lived during England's age of imperi- 
alism. Great Britain, as it was known after 1707, had 
acquired colonies all over the world, including Aus- 
tralia. Britain's decision to occupy Australia was 
partly to compensate for her loss of the American 
colonies — where it had been sending convicts — after 



77 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



the Revolutionary War (1775-83) and partly to con- 
trol access to sea routes from Europe to Asia. In 
1786, the British government began sentencing its 
criminals to "transportation," or deportation to Aus- 
tralia. Essentially, Australia became a nation made up 
of convicts from Great Britain. Mary Haydock was 
one of them. 

Mary Haydock, who was born in Bury, Lan- 
cashire, England, on May 5, 1777, lost her parents 
at an early age. Her grandmother reared her, but 
Mary chafed under her grandmother's care and soon 
sought an escape. Attempting to rein in her grand- 
daughter's wild ways, Haydock's guardian sent her 
to work for another family as a servant girl. But 
Mary did not want to be anyone's servant. She made 
plans to steal a horse and run away. First, though, 
she knew that she could not easily handle a horse 
while wearing a long dress. So, during an August 
night in 1790, dressed in a pair of trousers and a 
shirt, she stole a horse from a nearby stable and gal- 
loped away. Her plans were foiled when the owners 
of the stable caught up with her soon after. During 
her detainment and subsequent imprisonment, 
Reibey kept her true identity a secret by pretending 
to be a boy, James Burrow. Four months later, when 
she was sentenced to seven years "transportation," 
she gave up the pretense. She sailed for Australia on 
the Royal Admiral 'in October 1792. 

Initially, Mary Haydock found herself in much 
the same situation she had been in back home. A sen- 
tence of transportation meant that she would per- 
form a service for a family in Australia, so she went to 
work as the nursemaid for the family of Major Fran- 
cis Grose, in Sydney, Australia. 

In September 1794, Mary Haydock again escaped 
servitude: this time, she got married. She met Thomas 
Reibey, a junior officer on the commercial ship Britan- 
nia. After his term of service ended, Mary and Thomas 
Reibey moved to a farm along the Hawkesbury River. 
Thomas Reibey opened a cargo business along the 
Hawkesbury soon after. 

Meanwhile, Mary Reibey began giving birth to 
the couple's seven children (all but two died before 
Mary's own death in 1855). Reibey 's business pros- 
pered, and he expanded the shipping business to 



include an import trade company as well. He and his 
partner, Edward Wills, traded coal, cedar, furs, and 
animal skins. The two men expanded their trade net- 
work to include the Pacific Islands and, from 1809 
on, China and India. Two years later, Thomas 
Reibey died. 

Upon her husband's death, Mary Reibey 's friends 
told her that she would have to be "tough and com- 
petitive" if she wanted to continue her husband's 
businesses. What her well-meaning friends forgot was 
that Reibey had already proved herself capable of 
running her husband's firms. As a trader, Thomas 
Reibey had been gone frequently during their mar- 
riage, and Mary Reibey was left to "run the store" in 
his absence (she literally ran a store, which marketed 
Thomas Reibey's trade goods). She did not merely 
continue his business ventures; instead, she improved 
them. She opened new warehouses, bought more 
ships, and invested in lucrative properties in Sydney. 
All of this made Mary Reibey, by 1820, the wealthiest 
and most successful businesswoman in Australia. By 
the late 1820s, she retired and began doing philan- 
thropic work in Sydney. 

In 1845, Reibey's colorful past cropped up when 
people confused her with another Australian woman, 
Margaret Catchpole, whose biography had just been 
published. There were many parallels: both women 
had been servants and nurses; both had been arrested 
for stealing horses; and both received seven-year sen- 
tences for their crimes. Margaret Catchpole, how- 
ever, managed to escape prison by scaling 20-foot 
walls and then stowing away on board a ship bound 
for Sydney in 1801. 

Mary Reiby died on May 30, 1855. Today, her 
image appears on Australia's 20-pound banknote. 

Further Reading 

Irving, Nance. Mary Reibey— Molly Incognita: A Biography 
of Mary Reibey, 1777-1855, and Her World. New 
South Wales, Australia: Library of Australian History, 
1982. 

Irving, Nance, ed. Dear Cousin: The Reibey Letters. Sydney, 
Australia: Hale & Iremonger, 1995. 

Pullen, Kathleen. Mary Reibey: From Convict to First Lady 
of Trade. Sydney, Australia: Ure Smith, 1975. 



78 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



A SORABJI, CORNELIA 

(c. 1866-1954) Indian/British lawyer 
and writer 

Although Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman to 
study law at Oxford University, and in 1893 the first 
woman lawyer and first Indian to practice law in Great 
Britain, her notoriety did not open doors for other 
women in the field. Indeed, it would be another 30 
years before another British woman would graduate 
from an English law school and be admitted to the bar. 
Like many other professional women of her time 
whose careers centered on children (see Anna FREUD 
and Maria MONTESSORl), Sorabji went on to practice 
law as it related to women and children. She founded 
the Court of Wards in India where she served as a legal 
adviser from 1904 to 1923. 

She was born in the holy city of Nasik in western 
India. Sorabji's parents, Francina Sorabji and Sorabji 
Kharshedji Langrana, brought their daughter up in a 
liberal, well-to-do Christian household. Missionary 
Lady Cornelia Ford converted Sorabji's mother to 
Christianity from Hinduism. Sorabji's father had 
been a Zoroastrian — a religion founded by the sixth 
century B.C.E. Persian prophet Zoroaster on the 
notion of humanity's ability to choose between good 
and evil — but he converted after reading the Bible in 
1840. Sorabji's family, consisting of her parents and 
eight brothers and sisters, lived in a Parsee commu- 
nity near Bombay, India. (A Parsee is a descendant of 
a group of Zoroastrians who fled from Persia to India 
to escape Muslim persecution.) 

Cornelia Sorabji was the first and only woman in a 
class of more than 300 men to attend Deccan College 
in Poona (or Pune), India. Apart from a few Parsee stu- 
dents who treated her with respect, Sorabji experienced 
the hostility that many "first girls" faced when they 
attended all-male colleges and universities (see Aletta 
JACOBS and Dhanvanthi Rama RAU). Despite animos- 
ity from her professors, Sorabji managed to climb to 
the head of her class, receiving the highest grade on the 
First Year Arts Examination. But the automatic scholar- 
ship to a British university awarded to dean's list stu- 
dents was not granted to Sorabji. Instead, she had to 
rely on the largesse of a friend to arrange a fellowship to 



Gujarat College in Ahmadabad, north of Bombay, an 
all-male college. While still in her teens, she began lec- 
turing in English language and literature at Gujarat. 
She commented that she thought it would do Indian 
men good to be ruled by a woman for a change. 

Finally, in 1888, a scholarship to Somerville Col- 
lege, Oxford, became her ticket to higher education 
in England. She started by furthering her study of 
English literature, but when she learned that the 
Honours School of Law at Oxford was open to 
women, she changed her course of study. She hoped 
that a degree in law would ultimately help her 
advance the rights of women in India. 

Sorabji befriended Benjamin Jowett (1817-93) — 
the Vice Chancellor of Oxford — and the German 
orientalist Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900). Both 
men introduced her to several leading British aca- 
demic and political figures (including Queen Victo- 
ria, 1819-1901, who was crowned empress of India 
in 1876, and Florence NIGHTINGALE). Jowett 
arranged for Sorabji to take the advanced examina- 
tion to receive the bachelor of civil law at Oxford by 
special decree in 1893. She had to take the exam at 
Somerville College, isolated from the other law stu- 
dents and supervised by a warden. When she passed 
the exam, she was not allowed to take the bar exam 
but instead obtained an apprenticeship at the firm of 
Lee and Pemberton in Lincoln's Inn in London. 

The following year, Sorabji returned to India. She 
submitted a plan to the government to protect the 
legal rights of women and their children living in pur- 
dah, the practice of seclusion for women inaugurated 
by Muslims and later adopted by many Hindus in 
India. Purdah is a Persian word meaning curtain or, 
more precisely, the door curtain separating the 
secluded female quarters from the rest of the house. 
Purdah also refers to the veil worn to cover the face, or 
the upper end of the Hindu sari that is drawn over to 
cover the face, and to a number of practices employed 
to keep women away from public view. In some 
places, especially northern India, women ride in com- 
partments in trains and buses separately from men. 
Even a subtle gesture, such as a woman lowering her 
eyes to avoid a man's glance, is considered appropriate 
behavior in cultures that practice purdah. 



79 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



The practice is thought to have originated in Per- 
sia and to have been assimilated by Muslims during 
the conquest of present-day Iraq in the seventh cen- 
tury. While many Hindu authors contend that pur- 
dah came to India by way of the Muslim Mogul 
conquest of India in the 1500s, evidence suggests 
that purdah already existed in India before the Mus- 
lim invasion. During British rule of India in the 19th 
and 20th centuries, strict adherence to the practice of 
purdah, where it existed, was the norm. 

While Western feminists decry the practice as keep- 
ing women out of public life and "in their place," Mus- 
lims claim that the practice protects women from being 
seen as sex objects. They assert that purdah actually lib- 
erates women, because men respect them for their 
inner qualities rather than their physical beauty. 

In 1904, Cornelia Sorabji was appointed legal 
adviser on behalf of secluded women in the districts 
of Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, and Assam. Before British 
rule ended and, indeed, even after independence, 
women had only limited legal rights and control over 
the property they held. They could not exercise prop- 
erty rights in the way a man could; for example, a 
woman could not sell property unless it was deemed 
a necessity, nor would she be appointed guardian of 
her children if her husband's will stipulated against it. 
Sorabji's work in the Court of Wards helped women 
insure that what rights they did have were not com- 
promised in cases of divorce and property disputes. 

Sorabji passed the bar exam in 1923, the year after 
women were first admitted to the English bar (Ivy 
Williams and Helena Normanton both passed the 
bar first in 1922, though only Normanton actually 
practiced in a court), and became a barrister. She 
then settled in Calcutta to practice law. She founded 
Indian units of the National Council for Women and 
the Federation of University Women. 

Unlike most of the women who lived in nations col- 
onized by European countries (see Lilian NGOYI, Mam- 
phela RAMPHELE, and Lakshmi BAI), Sorabji was not in 
favor of Indian independence from Great Britain, 
which was achieved in 1947. She wrote several books, 
such as Love and Life Behind the Purdah (1901) and 
Social Relations: England and India (1908), in which 
she explained Indian customs to an English audience. 



Her works of fiction, such as Sun-Babies (1904) and 
Gold Mohur: Time to Remember (1930), however, 
focused mainly on Indian women. India Calling (1934) 
and India Recalled (1936) recount her experiences as a 
lawyer in India. In 1943, Sorabji wrote Queen Mary's 
Book of India, an anthology of literature, to raise money 
for Indians wounded during World War II (1939-45). 

Further Reading 

The Teminist Companion to Literature in Tnglish: Women 
Writers Prom the Middle Ages to the Present, ed. Virginia 
Blain, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy. London: 
B. T. Batsford, 1990. 

Sorabji, Cornelia. India Calling. London: Nisbet, 1934. 

. The Memoirs of Cornelia Sorabji. London: Nisbet, 

1934. 



A WALKER, MADAME C.J. (Sarah 
Breedlove) 

(1867—1919) American businesswoman 

As the inventor and manufacturer of hair care and 
other beauty products for African Americans, 
Madame C. J. Walker became, arguably, the first 
woman millionaire in U.S. history. Against the back- 
drop of the Jim Crow South, the continued practice 
of lynching African Americans, and the racism that 
existed throughout the United States, in some ways 
Walker's success illustrates the color blindness, and 
the gender blindness, of capitalism and free enter- 
prise. Ironically, however, considering the fact that 
Walker's products were designed to make African 
Americans look more like people of European 
descent, her business contributed to the sense that to 
be (or to look like) an African American was disad- 
vantageous. 

Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 
23, 1867, in Delta, Louisiana, to Owen and Minerva 
Breedlove, two emancipated slaves. The couple 
worked as sharecroppers on a cotton plantation in 
rural Louisiana. Both parents died when Sarah 
turned six. In 1878, the cotton crop failed, and a yel- 
low fever epidemic spread over the delta country. 
Sarah fled from the sickness and joined her older sister 
in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where she earned a living 



80 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



as a domestic servant. At age 14, Sarah sought an 
escape from her overbearing brother-in-law, so when 
Moses McWilliams proposed to her, she accepted. 
Four years later, she gave birth to their daughter 
Lelia. When the girl turned two, McWilliams sud- 
denly died, possibly the victim of a lynching. Sarah 
McWilliams vowed to give her daughter the educa- 
tion that she herself had never received. Mother and 
daughter moved up the Mississippi River to St. 
Louis, Missouri, where Sarah worked as a laundress 
and domestic servant for the next 18 years. In 1905, 
Lelia McWilliams graduated from Knoxville College; 
her mother was barely literate. 

As a washerwoman, Sarah spent hours leaning 
over a steaming washtub filled with hot water and 
chemical cleaning agents. She became convinced that 
the hair loss she began to notice was a result of her 
working conditions. At home, she experimented with 
various chemicals that she hoped would restore hair 
growth. Sometime between 1900 and 1905, she for- 
mulated a new product that she planned to market to 
black women (many of whom were also domestics in 
St. Louis and elsewhere). She kept the formula a 
secret, but most people assumed that the ingredient 
in it was sulphur. 

In 1906, Sarah moved to Denver, Colorado, where 
she met and married Charles J. Walker, a newspaper- 
man. The couple's businesses were mutually beneficial: 
Walker's paper began to advertise Sarah's product, and 
the advertisements offering a tonic that would improve 
hair growth boosted sales of the paper. Walker may 
have instructed Sarah to use the businesslike moniker 
"Madame C. J. Walker." Not wanting to rely solely 
upon advertising, Walker also peddled her concoction 
door-to-door. 

In addition to the hair tonic, Walker refined another 
beauty product already on the market. Many women 
used a hot comb to straighten curly or unruly hair. 
Sarah realized that if such a comb could be made with a 
stronger material, it could be used to help the kinky 
hair of African Americans to look straighten Walker 
combined the two products and dreamed up a market- 
ing strategy — combining the tonic with the combs — 
known as the Walker System. Although Walker always 
insisted that she never encouraged African Americans 



to straighten their hair, in fact, her system became 
known as the "anti-kink Walker system." 

When her business flourished in Denver, Walker 
realized that in a more populated area, it could 
expand even more, so she relocated to Indianapolis, 
Indiana. She recruited what she called "agent-oper- 
ators," or specially trained salespeople to accom- 
pany her as she pitched her products to black 
schools, churches, and clubs. Segregation, as 
Walker came to find out, benefited her business 
because it made it easier to hit the customers where 
they lived. In Indiana, she built a large-scale manu- 
facturing center. 

After she divorced Charles Walker in 1912, 
Walker began combining her business with philan- 
thropic work. Her agent-operators formed what were 
called Walker Clubs; the clubs competed with one 
another for prizes that Walker awarded to those who 
did the most charitable work. When Walker held her 
first annual convention in Philadelphia — the 
Madame C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of 
America — more than 200 agents met to share hair 
care techniques, business strategies, and success sto- 
ries. Walker handed $50 to each agent that had sup- 
ported local churches or missionary societies. Walker 
herself was a prime example of charitable giving. She 
had been a member of the National Association for 
the Advancement of Colored People since living in 
Indianapolis. She joined the National Association of 
Colored Women soon after. She contributed to 
Bethune-Cookman College for African Americans in 
Florida, and she introduced a scholarship for female 
students at the African-American Tuskegee Institute 
in Alabama. 

In 1916, Walker moved to New York, where she 
began investing some of her capital in real estate. She 
purchased an opulent estate called Villa Lewaro on 
the banks of the Hudson River. Three years later, on 
May 25, 1919, she died, the black female equivalent 
of the rags-to-riches, pull-yourself-up-by-your-boot- 
straps self-made American success story. 

Further Reading 

Bundles, A'Lelia. Madame C. J. Walker. New York: Chelsea 
House, 1991. Young Adult. 



81 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



. "Madame C. J. Walker to Her Daughter A'Lelia 

Walker: The Last Letter," SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on 
Black Women, 1, no. 2 (Fall 1984): 34-35. 

Davis, Leon Jr., "Madame C. J. Walker: A Woman of Her 
Times." (Master's Thesis, Howard University, 1978). 



A WINFREY, OPRAH 

(1954- ) American television producer, 
actress, and talk show host 

Once a molested, abused, runaway teenager, Oprah 
Winfrey made television history when her company, 
HARPO Productions, Incorporated, began producing 
The Oprah Winfrey Show, making Winfrey the first 
woman to produce and own her own television talk 
show. Arguably, the Oprah Winfrey Show, watched by 
1 5 million people a day, spawned the talk show craze in 
the late 1980s and 1990s on American radio and televi- 
sion. Time magazine voted her one of the most influen- 
tial people in the world in 1996. In addition to her 
business career, Winfrey is an accomplished actress. 

Oprah Winfrey's career in talk started at an early 
age. Born Orpah Winfrey (the biblical name was 
accidentally misspelled) on January 29, 1954, to 
unwed teenagers Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey, a 
barber and businessman, Oprah was raised on her 
grandmother's pig farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. 
Her grandmother taught Oprah to read and write, 
and in 1957, when Oprah was just three years old, 
she began public recitations of sermons in the area's 
black churches. 

From the age of six to 13, Winfrey lived in Milwau- 
kee with her mother, where she suffered abuse and sex- 
ual molestation from her mother's male friends and 
relatives. At 13, after having given birth to a premature 
baby that died, Winfrey ran away from home to escape 
the abuse. She was sent to a juvenile detention center. 
However, since there were no beds left in the center, 
authorities arranged for Winfrey to live with her father 
in Nashville, Tennessee. Discipline at the home of Ver- 
non Winfrey and his wife Zelma helped Oprah 
develop her potential in school. The couple instituted 
strict curfew and homework requirements. "If I hadn't 
been sent to my father," she later stated, "I would have 
gone in another direction." 



Winfrey finished high school and attended Ten- 
nessee State University in 1971, working in radio and 
television broadcasting at WVOL at the same time. 
Her college years were filled with numerous competi- 
tions, including Miss Black Nashville and Miss Ten- 
nessee (she won both titles). After graduating in 
1976, she moved to Baltimore, where she first coan- 
chored WJZ-TV's news and then hosted a television 
talk show, People Are Talking. The show's ratings sky- 
rocketed, and Winfrey knew she had found her 
niche. She moved to Chicago in 1984 to help WLS- 
TV's faltering A.M. Chicago, and in less than a year 
the show became that city's most-watched local pro- 
gram. The station increased the program to one hour 
and changed the name to The Oprah Winfrey Show. 
In 1986, the show went into syndication; in 1987, it 
won three Daytime Emmy Awards. 

Moviegoers first glimpsed Oprah Winfrey in the 
film version of Alice Walker's book about African 
Americans in the 1920s, The Color Purple (1985). 
For her performance of Sofia, Winfrey won an Acad- 
emy Award nomination in the category of best sup- 
porting actress. In 1998, Winfrey tackled Toni 
Morrison's book Beloved, a difficult book to transfer 
to film. She and Danny Glover played the starring 
roles. The movie received mixed reviews. Winfrey 
also starred as Mrs. Thomas in a movie adaptation of 
Richard Wright's classic novel Native Son. 

In 1988, Winfrey organized HARPO Produc- 
tions, Incorporated, which gained ownership of 
The Oprah Winfrey Show from ABC television. 
Besides the television show, HARPO also produced 
a highly rated TV miniseries, Gloria Naylor's The 
Women of Brewster Place, in which Winfrey also 
starred, in 1989. The movie led to the network 
series, Brewster Place. HARPO also owns the rights 
to Kaffir Boy, an autobiography by South African 
writer Mark Mathabane. 

Still best known for her role as talk show host on 
The Oprah Winfrey Show, she worries that the genre 
has become too exploitative by only featuring sensa- 
tionalistic topics. To elevate her show's content, she 
instituted Oprah's Book Club. The program intro- 
duced many new authors and helped reintroduce 
reading as a popular pastime (each book that Winfrey 



82 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



chooses to promote on her show seems destined to 
become a best-seller). At the 1999 National Book 
Awards celebration, Winfrey won a 50th anniversary 
gold medal for outstanding literary achievement. 
She has published six books, including The Uncom- 
mon Wisdom of Oprah, Oprah, and Make the Connec- 
tion. In 1999 she branched out into yet another 
medium when she cofounded Oxygen Media, a 
company dedicated to producing cable and Internet 
programming for women. Her magazine, O: The 
Oprah Magazine, appeared on magazine racks in 
bookstores in 2000. 

People inevitably talk about politics on talk 
shows, and, as a talk show host, Winfrey appeals to 
her audience on her pet political issue: child abuse. 
As a victim of the crime herself, her pleas have a par- 
ticular poignancy. She lobbied for and drafted the 
National Child Protection Act of 1994, signed into 
law by President Bill Clinton. The act established a 
national registry of child abusers to help employers, 
child-care providers, and schools by screening out 
abusers. She lives in Chicago, where she contributes 
to local schools and battered women's shelters. 

Further Reading 

Lanker, Brian. / Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women. 

New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1989. 
Nicholson, Lois. Oprah Winfrey. New York: Chelsea House, 

1999. 
Winfrey, Oprah, and Janet Lowe. Oprah Winfey Speaks: 

Insights from the World's Most Influential Voice. New 

York: Wiley, 1998. 



A WOODHULL.VICTORIA (Victoria Claflin 
^ Woodhull) 

(1838-1927) American businesswoman, 

publisher, and feminist activist 

The life of Victoria Woodhull offers historians an 
opportunity to look at the evolution of the women's 
movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 
Woodhull utilized a variety of vehicles to penetrate 
traditionally male domains and broadcast her femi- 
nist message: political oratory, written commentary, 



and economic power. In 1872, she became the first 
female presidential nominee in U.S. history, repre- 
senting the party she founded, the Equal Rights 
Party. She and her sister, Tennessee Celeste Claflin, 
proselytized their feminist message in their magazine, 
Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly. Claflin and Woodhull 
also became the first professional woman stockbro- 
kers. Victoria Woodhull was, by any measure, one of 
the most talked-about women of the 1 9th century. 
Perhaps her biggest success was her ability to enliven 
the debate over feminism. 

Victoria Woodhull was the seventh child of Reuben 
"Buck" Claflin and Roxanna Claflin, born in Homer, 
Ohio, on September 23, 1838. Buck Claflin, an alco- 
holic, operated a mill in Homer, but he and his family 
were run out of town when officials suspected that he 
had set fire to his own business for the insurance 
money. Years of itinerancy followed, as the Claflin 
family traveled around the south and midwest with 
their medicine and fortune-telling show. Victoria and 
Tennessee's performances were central to the family's 
business, as the two girls demonstrated their telepathic 
and clairvoyant abilities. Victoria claimed to be the 
embodiment of the famous Greek orator and states- 
man Demosthenes (384?-322 B.C.E.). Audiences paid 
to have their fortunes told and to have the girls resur- 
rect the spirits of their departed loved ones through a 
seance, or spiritualist sitting. 

At 15 Victoria married an alcoholic physician 
named Canning Woodhull, by whom she had a son 
and a daughter. She rejoined the family show a few 
years later. In the meantime, Tennessee Claflin con- 
cocted a "healing elixir" that she sold on the side. To 
accompany her sister's sales pitches, Victoria devel- 
oped a new career as a medical clairvoyant: she 
claimed she could heal people through mental con- 
centration and through touch. The traveling medicine 
and fortune-telling show thrived on the sisters' per- 
formances, and the family began appearing in larger 
midwestern cities such as Cincinnati and Chicago. In 
1865, Victoria divorced Canning Woodhull. 

Two years later, the sisters devised a new money- 
making scheme, an outgrowth of their careers in 
quackery. The millionaire businessman Cornelius Van- 
derbilt (1794-1877) solicited Woodhull's help in 



83 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 




Victoria Woodhull, first American woman to run for president, speaking before the Judiciary Committee 

of the House of Representatives. 
Courtesy National Archives. 



contacting his dead wife during a seance. Later, Van- 
derbilt gave the women a piece of financial advice: to 
invest their earnings in the Gold Exchange. Vander- 
bilt's advice garnered a small fortune for the two sisters. 
In September 1869, Victoria and Tennessee opened 
the brokerage firm of Woodhull, Claflin & Company; 
Cornelius Vanderbilt invested in their firm. The Janu- 
ary 20, 1870 New York Herald reported: 



The general routine of business in Wall Street was 
somewhat varied today by the mingling in its 
scenes of two fashionably dressed ladies as specu- 
lators. Who they were few seemed to know. . . . 
Where they obtained their knowledge of stocks 
was a matter of puzzling conjecture. . . . After 
investing to the extent of several thousand shares 
in some of our principal stocks and selling others, 



and announcing their intention to become regu- 
lar habitues of Wall Street, they departed, the 
observed of all observers. 



The Herald, and presumably many of its readers, 
clearly did not expect women to know anything 
about the stock market, or to have any of their own 
money to invest, or to be smart enough to learn how 
to make financial decisions. Woodhull provided 
plenty of evidence to the contrary. 

Despite the success of her business, however, Wood- 
hull had other irons in the fire. She meant for her finan- 
cial endeavors to provide the backing for her political 
ambition. She began publicizing her views in a series of 
position papers in the New York Herald. Stephen Pearl 
Andrews (1812-86), Woodhull's associate, lawyer, and 
a women's rights advocate, wrote many of the editorials 



84 



BUSINESS LEADERS AND LAWYERS 



(Woodhull had had only three years of formal educa- 
tion). In addition to women's rights, Woodhull and 
Andrews preached communal child rearing and "free 
love," the right of men and women to have as many 
sexual partners as they choose. Woodhull saw each of 
these issues as fundamental to female equality. 

In late 1870, she moved briefly to Washington, 
D. C, where she lobbied for woman suffrage, gain- 
ing the support of Massachusetts Senator Benjamin 
Butler, among others. She succeeded where Susan 
B. ANTHONY and Elizabeth Cady STANTON had 
failed. On January 11, 1871, Woodhull addressed 
the House Judiciary Committee on the subject of 
woman suffrage, articulating a radical means of 
implementing women's rights. In Congress, and 
later at the National Suffrage Convention in New 
York, she cast a spell with her fiery oratory. "We 
mean treason," she announced. "We mean seces- 
sion. "We are plotting revolution." 

The revolution, however, turned out to be a fail- 
ure: women were not granted the vote until 1920. 
The suffrage movement, believing that it must retain 
respectability in order to be successful, distanced 
itself from Woodhull. In response, Woodhull 
secured the nomination of the Equal Rights Party, a 
political party founded at a rally attended by 545 
people in May 1872, and mounted her own presi- 
dential bid in 1 872 (the abolitionist Frederick Dou- 
glass ran for vice president). Even before the 
election, however, she was in dire straits. When Cor- 
nelius Vanderbilt remarried in 1870, he withdrew 
his support from her, and her brokerage floundered. 
She began turning against Wall Street financiers, 
alienating them by publishing Karl Marx's Commu- 
nist Manifesto (1848) in her newspaper Woodhull 



and Claflin's Weekly. In addition, she was financially 
supporting her ill parents and her former husband, 
Canning Woodhull. Just when her fortunes seemed 
at their lowest, however, Woodhull came up with 
another new scheme. She initiated one of the great- 
est scandals of the 1 9th century. 

She resurrected Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly, which 
had stopped publication in 1872, in order to expose the 
love affair between America's most respected preacher, 
Reverend Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87), and his 
partner, Elizabeth Tilton, both married to others. As 
word of the indiscretion spread, copies of Woodhull and 
Claflin's skyrocketed. In her tabloid, however, Wood- 
hull did not condemn Beecher or Tilton. Instead, she 
demanded his admission of the affair and condemned 
him for refusing to condone free love. 

Incidentally, Woodhull claimed to have learned of 
the Beecher-Tilton affair through her own lover, none 
other than Elizabeth Tilton's husband, Theodore. 
Woodhull was arrested twice during the incident for 
publishing indecent material. 

In 1 877 Woodhull moved to England, where she 
married a prosperous banker, John Biddulph Martin, 
in 1881. She died a wealthy widow in Tewkesbury, 
England, on June 10,1927. 

Further Reading 

Gabriel, Mary. Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Wood- 
hull Uncensored. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1998. 

Goldsmith, Barbara. Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, 
Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull. New 
York: Knopf, 1996. 

Underhill, Lois Beachy. The Woman Who Ran For President: 
The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull. Bridgehampton, 
N.Y.: Bridge Works Publishers, 1995. 



85 



4 



Fashion Designers 
and Trendsetters 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



BLOOMER, AMELIA 
(Amelia Jenks Bloomer) 
(1818-1894) American 

and editor 



ion innovator 



In the 19th and 20th centuries, American women 
fought for women's rights and sexual equality in a 
number of different areas: politics, religion, medicine, 
and education. Women's historians have traditionally 
focused on political issues, such as woman suffrage, 
because historians in general tended to view the 
nation's politics as the nation's story. Beginning in the 
1970s, however, many women's historians shifted the 
focus to social changes that affected women's lives as 
much as politics. These historians brought birth con- 
trol, entrepreneurship, and changes in fashion to the 
forefront of women's history to illustrate the varying 
avenues down which women have marched toward 




American reformer Amelia Bloomer pioneered a 
costume that was scandalous for the mid- 1 9th 
century, pantaloons under a knee-length skirt. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



full social equality. In the realm of fashion, few have 
shaped women's lives more fundamentally than Amelia 
Bloomer, promoter of an article of clothing named 
after her: the bloomer. Ironically, however, Amelia 
Bloomer was neither the originator nor the most vigor- 
ous proponent of women's trousers. 

Like many of her colleagues in the women's move- 
ment, Bloomer's Quaker family hailed from upstate 
New York. Amelia was born on May 27, 1818, to 
Ananias Jenks and Lucy Webb. Amelia's father 
worked as a clothier to support his wife and their 
children. Amelia's education ended at age 17, when 
she took a job teaching in Clyde, New York. A year 
later, a Waterloo, New York, family hired her to tutor 
and look after their children. 

At age 22, Amelia met and married Dexter 
Bloomer, a newspaperman and lawyer who would 
later collect and publish his wife's writings. After a 
wedding ceremony in which Amelia omitted the 
word "obey" from the vows she spoke to her hus- 
band, the couple resided in Seneca Falls, New York, a 
hotbed of women's rights advocacy that culminated 
in the Seneca Falls convention of 1848, which 
Bloomer attended. Dexter Bloomer edited the Seneca 
Falls Courier, and he encouraged Amelia to write arti- 
cles on reform for the Courier and other local papers, 
including The Water Bucket (a temperance paper 
advocating the moderate consumption of alcohol) 
and the Free Soil Union (an abolitionist tract) . 

In 1849, Amelia Bloomer founded her own temper- 
ance periodical called the Lily. The temperance move- 
ment began in the 1 9th century and culminated with 
passage of the 1918 Volstead Act, which prohibited the 
sale of alcoholic beverages. Many women temperance 
advocates viewed the overconsumption of alcohol as a 
vice leading to the decay of the family, because intem- 
perate men often beat their wives and children (see 
Carry NATION and Frances WILLARD). "It is woman 
that speaks through the Lily," Bloomer announced in 
the Lily's premier issue. "It is upon an important sub- 
ject, too, that she comes before the public to be heard." 
In the antebellum period, convention held that it was 
improper for women to speak in public. The temper- 
ance, abolition, and suffrage movements helped erase 
this taboo from American society. 



88 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



The Lilys editorials and articles, some of which were 
written by Elizabeth Cady STANTON, trumpeted the 
cause of many 19th century reforms, including suf- 
frage, property rights for married women, education, 
and employment. Amelia Bloomer herself considered 
woman suffrage to be secondary to temperance. "We 
think it all-important that women obtain the right to 
vote," she maintained in an 1853 issue. "But . . . she 
must gradually prepare the way for such a step by show- 
ing that she is worthy of receiving and capable of 
rightly exercising it. If she do this, prejudice will fast 
give way, and she gain her cause." 

In 1851, Bloomer donned the radical dress that 
would ultimately bear her name when she lectured 
on temperance. Elizabeth Smith Miller, daughter of 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's cousin Gerrit Smith, 
designed the costume, which consisted of a pair of 
Turkish-style full-legged trousers, topped with a short 
skirt. The Lily promoted the pants as a comfortable 
garment that would increase women's mobility. 

The feature in the Lily, coupled with Bloomer's 
public appearances, drew the attention of other New 
York publications, including the popular New York 
Times. Bloomer became a celebrity, and circulation of 
her journal increased eightfold. Bloomer, however, 
grew cautious in the face of the sensation caused by 
the costume, and she stopped wearing it. She wanted 
to keep the focus of the public on temperance, she 
stated, not on herself as a public figure. 

When the Bloomers moved to Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, in 1855, Bloomer sold her paper to Mary B. 
Birdsall (the paper ceased publication in 1856). She 
could not print nor market the periodical from what 
was then a frontier outpost. She and her husband 
adopted two children and settled into their new home. 

By 1870, Bloomer had been on the temperance 
lecture circuit for years. Convinced that the reform 
would never make a difference unless women had 
more political power, she began turning more of her 
attention to suffrage, becoming the president of the 
Iowa Woman Suffrage Society in 1871. Her speeches 
on behalf of the fight to secure passage of Iowa's 1873 
law granting married women property rights helped 
to win the day. She died in Council Bluffs on 
December 30, 1894. 



Further Reading 

Bloomer, Dexter C. Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer. 
New York: Schocken Books, 1975. 

Corey, Shana. You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer: A Very 
Improper Short Story. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000. 
Young Adult. 

Stein, Leon. Lives to Remember. New York: Arno Press, 
1974. 

Women's Periodicals in the United States: Political and Social 
Issues. Kathleen Endres and Theresa Lueck, eds. West- 
port, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996. 



A CHANEL, COCO (Gabrielle Bonheur 
Chanel) 

(1883-1971) French fashion designer 

Coco Chanel designed clothes that matched a new 
era in women's lives. During World War I (1914-18) 
civilians in Europe and the United States — including 
women — were encouraged to aid the war effort. 
When the war ended, many women wanted to con- 
tinue to contribute to society through working out- 
side the home, and Coco Chanel gave them clothes 
that matched their new lives. 

Coco Chanel made a fortune bringing women's 
fashions from the Victorian era to the modern era. 
During the Victorian era, named after the influential 
British Queen Victoria (1837-1901), women wore 
clothes that kept their bodies shrouded in heavy 
dresses that covered everything from neck to ankle. 
Ironically, though, even as women's figures were to be 
completely covered, what she wore underneath actu- 
ally accentuated, or highlighted, precisely what she 
was supposed to keep covered. The corset, an under- 
garment similar to a girdle, only worn from the hips 
up to the nipples, effected the feminine ideal — the 
18-inch waist and voluptuous chest — known as the 
hourglass figure. "Girded in corsets and petticoats 
and forty pounds of underskirts and overskirts, cloak 
and formidable hat," wrote historian Virginia Scharff 
in Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the 
Motor Age, "she [the affluent Victorian woman] is 
clad in immobility." 

World War I did much to change fashions, and 
therefore lifestyles, of women. When women joined 



89 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



the war effort, as nurses or wartime industrial work- 
ers, they found that restricted movement interfered 
with their ability to perform their work well. So, skirt 
levels began to rise, hair was cut, and corsets were 
tossed in the garbage can. (see Susan B. ANTHONY 
and Elizabeth Cady STANTON). 

Coco Chanel encouraged this trend. Born in 
Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, in central France, on August 
19, 1883, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel's mother died 
when she was young, and her father disappeared after 
he deposited his two daughters at an orphanage. While 
at the orphanage, Chanel learned to sew, and she spent 
weekends watching her aunt Julia decorate hats. Dur- 
ing her teenage years, Chanel worked in Deauville, 
France, on the north coast, at a hat factory. She 
attracted the attention of a young officer, Etienne Bal- 
san, and soon became his mistress. He helped her open 
her own millinery (an old-fashioned term for a ladies' 
hat shop) in Compiegne, France. It was badly timed, 
though, because World War I broke out shortly after- 
ward (Chanel supposedly remarked that she felt that 
the war had broken out to spite her!). 

In 1919, after the war, Chanel founded a couture 
house on the rue Cambon, again with Balsan's back- 
ing. Here she made her mark, inventing, and borrow- 
ing, what would come to be known as the classic 
Chanel look. The credit for ridding the world of the 
corset and for making short hair fashionable for 
women actually belongs to a rival French designer, 
Paul Poiret (1880-1944), who had abolished the 
corset in 1906 and cut his models' hair in 1908. Nev- 
ertheless, Chanel made these styles popular among 
ordinary women, not just Paris fashion models. 

And she borrowed from men's fashions to enhance 
the new independence women were gaining through- 
out the world. It seemed that in order to gain equal- 
ity in a man's world, women were going to have to 
start looking like them. During the 1920s, with 
Chanel's help, women shed the hourglass figure and 
exchanged it for no figure at all. From her English 
nephew she borrowed the man's blazer, adopting the 
cuffed shirt and cuff links, as well. To show off the 
cuffed shirt, she rolled the jacket cuffs up the arm. 

In addition to the blazer, Chanel's other fashion 
items imitated men's military clothing. She 



adopted a pair of sailors' pants, their pea jackets, 
striped maillots, and sailor hats. She loved the color 
navy blue. Not only did she adopt these men's fash- 
ions for women's wear, but she also borrowed the 
very essence of military clothing for everyday use. 
Easy-care fabrics, previously considered "cheap," 
but ideal for the military, became fashionable 
among working women. 

If one had to choose a single word to describe 
Chanel's fashions, it would probably be "casual." 
Gone, then, were the stuffy Victorian dresses with 
the prudishness they implied. After the anxieties of 
the war, during the "Jazz Age" 1920s, and beyond, 
women were enjoying themselves, and their fashions 
exemplified this fact. Chanel also changed their com- 
plexions. While during the Victorian era women 
used parasols to shield their white skin from the sun, 
Chanel popularized the suntan. 

Chanel's empire expanded from one couture 
house on the rue Cambon to eight houses. At her 
peak, in the 1950s, she was dressing the world, not 
only from the sales from her own lines, but by virtue 
of imitations, of which there were many. Chanel did 
not object; it is, as she noted, a visible sign of success 
to be copied. 

Of course, as even Chanel herself would admit, 
fashions come and go. By the 1930s, hemlines 
dropped again, and the worldwide economic depres- 
sion meant that fewer and fewer women could buy 
Chanel's fashions, or even her imitations. Addition- 
ally, when World War II broke out in 1939, Chanel 
spent the war years holed up in her Paris apartment. 
When she announced her comeback in 1954, the 
timing was perfect. Again, people were ready to cast 
off the sadness of the war years, and attention turned 
to casual fashions. Although she never regained her 
previous fame, Chanel succeeded in offering women 
what they wanted most: clothing to fit their lifestyles. 
Coco Chanel died on January 10,1971. 

Further Reading 

Baudot, Francois. Chanel. London: Thames and Hudson, 
1996. 

De La Haye, Amy. Chanel: The Couturiere at Work. Wood- 
stock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1994. 



90 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



Madsen, Axel. Chanel: A Woman of Her Own. New York: 

Henry Holt, 1991. 
Wallach, Janet. Chanel: Her Style and Her Life. New York: 

Doubleday, 1998. 



& CHILD.JULIA (Julia McWilliams Child) 

(1912-2004) American chef 

Ever an energetic, spunky bundle of delight, 77-year- 
old food expert Julia Child embarked on an extended 
tour to promote her new book The Way to Cook in 
1989. "You've got to go out and sell it," she was 
quoted as saying. "No sense spending all that time — 
five years on this one — and hiding your light under a 
bushel. . . . Besides," she deadpanned, "I'm a ham." 
Julia Child's cookbooks, television shows, and news- 
paper and magazine articles form the ingredients that 
helped change to the recipes and menus of American 
cooks all over the country. Child's notoriety encour- 
aged other female cooks to take their acts out of the 
house and into the public realm. 

Julia Child remains one of the preeminent chefs in 
American history, and, ironically, one of the few 
women professionals in the field. In the 19th century, 
the much touted Victorian "separate sphere" ideology 
pervasive in American and European culture held that 
women presided over the domestic sphere, including 
the kitchen, while men shaped the public realm. In 
the 19th century, most Americans ate food at home 
prepared by the housewife; commercial or profes- 
sional chefs served only the very wealthiest, and 
restaurants as we know them today were practically 
unknown. As the nation industrialized and leisure 
time increased, bars, taverns, nightclubs, and restau- 
rants increased commensurately. Yet while women 
continued cooking in the home, most "better" restau- 
rants hired professional male chefs who had been 
schooled in the culinary arts. In fact, when Julia Child 
was inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame 
in 1993, she was the first female cook so honored. 

In the early years following World War II 
(1939-45), dramatic social changes affected both what 
Americans ate and who did the cooking. Neighbor- 
hood butcher shops and bakeries gave way to super- 
markets that offered "everything under one roof" and 



ways to save working mothers time in the kitchen. 
Despite the pervasiveness of the stay-at-home mom 
stereotype, about 30 percent of the female population 
continued to work outside the home during the 
1950s. Frozen and canned food and TV dinners 
offered quick, easy meals to the harried housewife and 
her working counterpart. Julia Child introduced 
French cuisine into the American diet, and she encour- 
aged the savoring of well-prepared dishes in her cook- 
books and television shows that, for many housewives, 
replaced the hurried meals. 

Julia McWilliams's childhood home differed 
markedly from the scenario described above. She was 
born on August 15, 1912, to a well-to-do family in 
Pasadena, California, surrounded by servants who 
cooked her meals for her. In 1930, the six-foot, two- 
inch tall McWilliams went to Smith College, where she 
majored in history. When she graduated in 1934, she 
went to work for a furniture company in New York 
City. On the eve of World War II, she did her part in 
the war effort by working at the Office of Strategic Ser- 
vices (the predecessor of the Central Intelligence 
Agency). She filed papers and reports on missions 
abroad, including Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where she 
met her future husband, Paul Cushing Child. Child, an 
artist and cartographer, loved good food and intro- 
duced Julia to the same. The couple's age difference (10 
years) and height difference (she surpassed him by sev- 
eral inches) proved no hindrance and the two wed in 
1946. Paul Child took a job with the U.S. Foreign Ser- 
vice, and the newlyweds moved to Washington, D.C. 

Two years later, Paul Child accepted an assign- 
ment that sent the couple to Paris. Julia first studied 
the French language at the Berlitz School and then 
enrolled in the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school. 
The French chef Max Bugnard tutored her privately 
as well. Along with two friends, Simone Beck and 
Louisette Bertholle, she opened her own cooking 
school called L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes (the 
school of the three gourmands). Meanwhile, Child 
began writing her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of 
French Cooking. When Paul Child retired in 1961, 
the couple moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Child altered American cuisine with her book 
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). The 



91 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



book's success lay in its thorough and carefully writ- 
ten, easy to follow recipes and instruction, and its 
useful photographs. Food editors of major maga- 
zines, such as Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, 
and Home and Garden, began asking Child to submit 
articles on food and gastronomy. Her column 
appeared weekly in the Boston Globe, and she made 
periodic appearances on TV's Good Morning America. 
Several books followed, including French Chef 
(1968), Julia Child and Company (1979), Julia Child 
and More Company (1980), and Dinner at Julia's 
(1983). In between books, Child's television show 
The French Chef aired for 1 1 years and won a 
Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. 

From 1961 to 2001, Child altered her cooking as 
American culture evolved. She developed trimmer 
dishes and sauces with reduced fat content. For weight- 
conscious cooks, Child counseled eating less of the 
good foods they love. Make meals so delicious, she tells 
cooks, that you and your guests will be satisfied without 
shoveling in huge quantities of food. Child continues 
to exhort her audiences to love food and stop fearing 
that it is not good for them. She detests fad diets and 
single-food diets. "Eat less but better," she insists. 

In 1989 her husband suffered a stroke and had to 
be moved to a nursing home. New undertakings, 
such as a voice part in a children's cartoon and a new 
cooking show, Cooking with Master Chefs, and its 
accompanying book helped distract her from her sor- 
row. When her husband died in 1994, Child was 
quoted as saying that she had nothing left to write. 
But each successive year brought new challenges, and 
she penned In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs in 
1995 and Baking With Julia in 1996. In 1997, she 
celebrated her 85th birthday by hosting a lavish din- 
ner, with proceeds from the event going to the Amer- 
ican Institute of Food and Wine. She continues 
advocating sensible cooking and eating in countless 
interviews, magazine articles, and television shows. 
"This is Julia Child," she says in her distinctive, 
familiar voice, "wishing you Bon Appetit!" 

Further Reading 

Andrews, Colman. "Happy Birthday, Julia!" Metropolitan 
Home, vol. 24, no. 9 (September 1992): 46-49. 



Fitch, Noel Riley. Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia 

Child. New York: Doubleday, 1997. 
Warrick, Sheridan. "The Women Who Changed the Way 

We Eat," Health, vol. 13, no. 5 0une 1999): 82-88. 



ENDO HATSUKO 

(c. 1890-1960) 
and businesswoman 



efash. 



ion consultant 



Endo Hatsuko contributed to the westernization of 
Japan, particularly in the areas of fashion and wedding 
customs. Endo also departed from Japanese conven- 
tion by becoming a businesswoman on her own, apart 
from either her father or her husband. She gradually 
commercialized the practice of purchasing bridal cos- 
tumes and makeup for the wedding ceremony. At first, 
Endo offered makeup for Japanese women in general; 
next, she specialized in wedding wear and makeup. 
Finally, she began offering brides-to-be a foil line of 
apparel, booking services for the ceremony and recep- 
tion, and decorations for the entire event. 

Endo's bridal wear empire began during the Meiji 
Restoration (1868-1912), a period characterized as 
the beginning of the modern era in Japanese history. 
In 1868 the feudal system, controlled by the samurai 
warriors that had ruled Japan since the 12th century, 
was abolished, and Japan began working toward 
instituting a modern, industrial state. Finance Minis- 
ter Masayoshi Matsukata (1834-1924) established 
the Bank of Japan and took other measures to stimu- 
late economic growth. When Emperor Meiji died in 
1912, his son Taisho, who ruled from 1912 to 1926, 
continued his father's policies. 

Little is known about Endo Hatsuko's childhood. 
In the early 1900s, she opened a beauty salon in the 
newly established Ginza district in Tokyo. The Ginza 
is the main shopping, commercial, and entertainment 
area of Tokyo, located near the Imperial Palace. The 
Ginza includes all the purveyors one might expect in 
any large, industrialized city: department stores, 
smaller specialized boutiques, and restaurants and 
nightclubs. In addition, the Ginza offers Kabuki, the 
traditional Japanese theater (see OKUNl). The Japan- 
ese word Ginza means "place where silver is minted" 
and refers to the government mint office that was 



92 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



built during the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867). 
Linked to fraudulent practices, however, the mint was 
closed by the government in 1868. After the Meiji 
Restoration began, the Ginza became the first west- 
ernized district in all of Japan, featuring Western 
architecture (American architect Frank Lloyd Wright 
(1867-1959) designed the famous Imperial Hotel), 
wide, tree-lined streets, and imported goods from 
Europe and the United States. 

Endo Hatsuko introduced Western makeup for 
women in her "grooming parlor," as her business was 
called. Makeup, first brought to Japan by the Chinese 
and Koreans in the sixth century, played an important 
role in Japanese culture. Traditionally, aristocratic 
women wore heavy white face makeup, red rouge on 
the lips, and painted their eyebrows. Until the 18th 
century, they also blackened their teeth after they 
married. Smiling was literally frowned upon, since a 
wide-mouthed grin revealed white teeth that tended 
to look yellowish next to the whitened skin. By the 
20th century, however, most Japanese women no 
longer wore white face makeup or kimonos every day. 

Today, the tradition is continued by geisha. Geisha 
are Japanese women entertainers known for their 
dancing and musical skills. First officially recognized 
as an occupation in the 18 th century, geisha enter- 
tained men and their courtesans in "pleasure districts" 
in larger Japanese cities. They were not prostitutes, 
although they were usually sexually involved with 
their patrons. Young girls were sometimes indentured 
to a geisha house, where they acted as maids and then 
as apprenticed geisha. Geisha unions determined the 
price to be paid for their entertainment. During the 
19th century, geisha were acknowledged as trendset- 
ters, acting as fashion weather vanes for the rest of 
Japanese society. They dressed in opulent kimonos 
and wore the heavy makeup of the upper class. Today, 
they have become the upholders of Japanese tradi- 
tions, rather than the trendsetters. There are fewer 
than 1 ,000 geisha left; most live in Osaka and Kyoto. 
Before Endo started her business, geisha and other 
women made the white makeup by combining white 
rice bran with lead, later discovered to be toxic. She 
offered her customers makeup without the dangerous 
lead component. 



Endo began offering her services as a wedding con- 
sultant in addition to her grooming parlor business. 
In later years, her business developed into a full bridal 
service shop, where customers could shop for their 
wedding kimonos, purchase makeup, have their hair 
done, and make arrangements for the ceremony and 
reception. Weddings in Japan are elaborate affairs and 
can be very costly (in the 1990s, the average couple 
spent $26,000 on the ceremony). Although most 
Japanese men and women meet each other and form 
relationships without outside help, during the cere- 
mony many couples still designate a go-between, or 
nakodo, for the sake of tradition. The ceremony 
involves a huge feast hosted at the groom's home, into 
which the bride will be adopted (brides wear a white 
kimono to symbolize her "death" to her own family, 
and her intention to adopt the colors of her husband's 
family). A majority of Japanese are married in a 
Shinto ceremony, though Buddhist and Christian cer- 
emonies are also common. At a Shinto ceremony, the 
bride and groom kneel before an altar as a priest puri- 
fies them, and then they drink from three cups of sake 
(an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice), three 
times. During the reception, as friends and relatives 
regale the participants with stories and songs, the cou- 
ple changes clothes multiple times. 

The Japanese word kimono literally means "a 
thing worn." Kimonos are sewn from long pieces of 
cloth and cinched together with an obi, or sash. 
Women's kimonos include a small pillow worn in 
the back, attached to the sash. Traditionally, men 
and women wore the garment, with different social 
classes distinguishing themselves by the type of 
kimonos they wore. The samurai classes wore 
kimonos with the sleeve ends sewn tightly shut, 
whereas other classes wore the sleeves with wide 
openings. Women's kimonos can be made from 
brightly colored fabric, whereas men's kimonos are 
gray, black, or brown. Essentially, the kimono has 
changed little since the 16th century. Most Japanese 
now only wear kimonos for special occasions such as 
weddings, and Endo Hatsuko specialized in creating 
elaborate wedding kimonos that could cost up to 
$100,000. After World War II, Endo realized that, 
since most ordinary Japanese people cannot afford 



93 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



such a price, her business would benefit from offer- 
ing rented kimonos. 

Since Endo began her business in 1905, each 
succeeding company president has been obliged to 
change her name to Endo Hatsuko. As of 1996, 
however, Endo's eldest son, Akira, presides over 
Endo Hatsuko. The company employed 1,000 peo- 
ple in 1996. Currently, the Japanese Empress 
Michiko (1934- ) and her daughter-in-law 
Princess Masako (1963- ) both wear Endo Hat- 
suko clothing and accessories. 

Further Reading 

Katayama, Osamu. "Grooming the Bride," Look Japan 

(December 1996): 18-19. 
Prusmack, Florence, "Hatsuko Endo," Distinguished 

Women Past and Present at http://www.distinguished- 

women.com, January 2000. 



A ENG, MELINDA (Mo-Jing Eng) 

(c. 1960- ) American fashion designer 

Melinda Eng changed the essence of women's evening 
wear by adopting a simple idea that came to her while 
she was shopping for a dress for herself. "I couldn't find 
anything with graceful lines that actually fit well with- 
out a lot of adjusting," she told a writer for Victoria 
magazine. Using her sweater designs as a blueprint, she 
devised her signature look: simple, bias-cut dresses in 
luxury fabrics like chiffon and crepe, with hidden clo- 
sures for a fluid look (a bias-cut dress is cut diagonally 
across the warp of a woven fabric). The contradictory 
nature of her dresses (fancy, party-wear fabrics cut and 
sewn in a relaxed, casual shape) is what makes her 
designs so interesting and effective. 

Melinda Eng is the oldest of six children born to 
immigrants from Hong Kong. Eng's parents spoke no 
English when they arrived in New York's Chinatown in 
the late 1960s, though family members were already in 
the United States to welcome them. Eng's father, Tak 
Gan, went to work in the family's Chinese restaurant, 
while her mother, Kam Ha, worked in a garment fac- 
tory. Like many children of immigrants, Melinda Eng 
and her siblings quickly adopted American ways and 
eagerly learned the English language (Eng's given first 



name is actually Mo-Jing, which means "ambitious"). 
Eng told Christina Cheakalos of People Weekly maga- 
zine that fashion sense ran in her family. Her mother 
had fine sewing skills, and her grandfather always 
dressed smartly. Even after hats fell out of style, Eng 
remembers, "he wouldn't go out without wearing one." 

Upon graduation from the Parsons School of 
Design in 1976, Eng got a job creating sweater 
designs for Pringle designs of Scotland and for Amer- 
ican designers Bill Haire and Charlotte Ford. Later, 
after she began freelancing, she designed a private 
label in China for distribution in Europe. Her inter- 
national background, and her experience working for 
companies from different nations, gave her insight 
into what women all over the world were looking for 
in terms of style and shape. By the 1980s, Melinda 
Eng could boast a total of 12 retail clothing accounts 
carrying her designs. Now, she has more than 30 
accounts — including Bergdorf Goodman and Bar- 
neys in New York, Joyce in Hong Kong, and Harrod's 
in London — and runs her own business. Adding to 
her popularity, she also "dresses" a growing number 
of celebrities, including film and television actresses 
such as Geena Davis, and musicians such as Reba 
McEntire (one would almost have to be a celebrity to 
afford Eng's gowns: they are priced from $1,500 to 
$4,000). Her designs are frequently seen on enter- 
tainment awards shows on television. 

Rather than merely designing dresses for movie 
stars, Eng soon found herself on a movie set and then in 
front of the camera. She had been asked by film direc- 
tor Woody Allen to critique scenes involving fashion 
and fashion designers. When she pointed out to Allen's 
assistant that a particular scene in the movie did not 
seem believable, she won the trust of the assistant and 
of Allen himself. Allen had been looking for an Asian 
fashion designer to play the part of a lingerie designer in 
the film, and Eng got the cameo part. The movie, called 
Celebrity (1998), deconstructs and satirizes the Ameri- 
can obsession with famous people by featuring the 
exploits of a fawning celebrity journalist. 

Eng's designs have not stagnated, despite their 
popularity. To the elegant fabrics she uses in her bias- 
cut designs she has added intricate construction and 
couture details, such as French seaming and piping. 



94 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



"When it comes to trends, I listen to my own voice, 
rather than any outside influences," she says. "I have 
a passion for experimenting with bias cuts and devel- 
oping existing ideas." "I wanted to find dresses for 
myself that have the same principle as a T-shirt: easy, 
simple to wear, with few seams or darts." Although 
she still specializes in evening wear, she also designs 
bridal gowns. "Brides frequently come in [the shops 
where Eng's clothes are sold] looking for a more 
imaginative selection than they find elsewhere." She 
once designed an A-line ballerina gown made of silk 
organza for one bride-to-be. Eng has recently initi- 
ated a new, more affordable line of women's late-day 
and evening wear, priced from $450 to $950. 

Eng lives in Manhattan where, in her spare time, 
she likes to read and indulge her other passion: Chi- 
nese cooking. 

Further Reading 

Cheakalos, Christina. "Making the Cut," People Weekly 

(Oct. 5, 1998): 165-68. 
Eng, Melinda. "Beautifully Easy." Victoria, vol. 14, no. 2 

(February 2000): 70-74. 
Women's Wear Daily, vol. 168, no. 80 (Oct. 24, 1994): 

C36. 



A GUGGENHEIM, PEGGY (Marguerite 
Guggenheim) 

(1898-1979) American art collector 
andpatron 

"It's more fun writing than being a woman," explained 
Peggy Guggenheim after the demise of her second mar- 
riage, to artist Max Ernst, in 1946. The "writing" to 
which she referred was her autobiography Out of This 
Century (1946), in which she described her several 
romantic liaisons with perhaps more candor than her 
readers bargained for. Guggenheim thrived on shock 
value, both in the publicity of her personal relation- 
ships and in the art she collected and exhibited at her 
New York gallery, Art of This Century. Abstract Ameri- 
can artists such as Jackson Pollock (1912-56) and 
Mark Rothko (1903-70) got their first exposure 
through Guggenheim, and consequently, modern art 
found a new home in the United States. 



Guggenheim succeeded in making abstract 
expressionism an accepted part of the American art 
scene in the 1940s. Abstract expressionists empha- 
sized the act of painting in their work, and the feel- 
ings that they thought were inherent in the paint 
itself (hence titles such as "study in purple"). To 
abstract expressionists, a work of art should showcase 
the interaction of artist, canvas, and paints. Jackson 
Pollock, for example, was filmed while he splashed 
and dribbled paints across a gigantic canvas, thereby 
becoming an element in the work of art himself. 
Mark Rothko also created large canvases filled with 
only one or two soothing, therapeutic colors. 

Peggy Guggenheim was born on August 26, 
1898, to Benjamin Guggenheim, Anaconda Copper 
magnate, and Florette Seligman Guggenheim in New 
York City. The wealthy, socially prominent Guggen- 
heim family included Solomon R. Guggenheim, 
founder of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 
Benjamin Guggenheim drowned on board the 
Titanic 'in 1912, leaving Peggy — one of his three chil- 
dren — an inheritance of $450,000. Peggy Guggen- 
heim was tutored privately, except for a brief stint at 
the prestigious Jacoby School in New York. Before 
she came into her inheritance, she worked for the 
War Department during World War I (1914-18) and 
at an avant-garde bookstore called the Sunwise Turn. 

Guggenheim moved to Paris in 1919, to experi- 
ence the Bohemian expatriate community there. She 
began her career as a patron in Paris, first of literary 
geniuses, such as Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), to 
whom she faithfully sent monthly checks well into 
the 1 970s. She met and married the American writer 
and sculptor Laurence Vail in 1922; the union pro- 
duced two children, Pegeen and Sinbad. After five 
stormy years together, the couple divorced, at which 
time Guggenheim took up with an English writer, 
John Holms. He died during minor surgery in 1934. 

Four years later, Guggenheim abandoned literary 
circles in favor of the visual arts. She began her patron- 
age by opening the Guggenheim Jeune, her London 
gallery of modern art. She enlisted the expertise of 
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968; he painted the much- 
celebrated Nude Descending a Staircase, which was 
many Americans' first glimpse of modern art, at the 



95 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



1913 New York Armory Show) to curate her first 
show, which featured the work of Jean Cocteau 
(1889-1963). Other artists whose paintings she exhib- 
ited at her museum included Wassily Kandinsky 
(1866-1944), Max Ernst (1891-1976), Pablo Picasso 
(1882-1973), Alexander Calder (1898-1976), and 
Henry Moore (1898-1986). Guggenheim also began 
her own private collection of art at this time. 

Discouraged by the lack of support engendered by 
Guggenheim Jeune, she closed the museum within the 
year. In 1939, she traveled to Paris to buy paintings for 
a new museum and her own collection. In 1941, just 
days before the German army invaded France, Guggen- 
heim escaped with hundreds of works of art, with the 
help of her ex-husband Laurence Vail, his new wife, 
writer Kay Boyle (1902-92), and the children from 
both marriages in tow. Max Ernst was there, too: he 
and Guggenheim were married in 1941. 

World War II (1939-45) effectively shifted the cen- 
ter of modern art from Paris to New York City, where 
Guggenheim spent the next several years. Guggenheim 
decided to open a new art gallery/museum in New 
York; this time, she received assistance from Andre 
Breton (1896-1966), the guru of surrealist art (see also 
Leonor FINl). Guggenheim knew that Americans, not 
used to so much attention paid to contemporary U.S. 
artists, needed coaxing and coaching, so she exhibited 
the works of well-known European artists, such as 
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) alongside unknown 
American artists. The strategy worked, and new doors 
opened up for American modern artists. 

Divorced from Ernst, Guggenheim decided to 
return to Europe in 1947. She chose Venice, Italy, as 
her new home and purchased an opulent villa called 
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni along the Grand Canal, 
where her private art collection could be displayed 
most effectively (Guggenheim operated her home as a 
museum beginning in 1951). During the Greek Civil 
War (1944-49) the Greek pavilion at the Venice Bien- 
nale, an international art exhibition, had been empty, 
so officials of the Biennale invited Guggenheim in 
1948 to show her collection. Art critics from all over 
the world praised Guggenheim's collection. 

During the 1950s, Guggenheim began reducing her 
collection, giving away some of her paintings to small 



museums that would otherwise be unable to afford 
them. She continued to operate her house as a salon by 
giving studio space to struggling artists. Guggenheim's 
collection traveled to the Tate Museum and the 
Guggenheim Museum; the latter acquired the Palazzo 
Venier dei Leoni in 1974. Guggenheim donated her 
entire collection to the Guggenheim Museum, which 
still operates the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in 
Venice, when she died in Padua, Italy, on December 
23, 1979. 

Further Reading 

Guggenheim, Peggy. Confessions of an Art Addict: A Mem- 
oir. New York: Ecco Press, 1987. 

. Out of This Century; the Informal Memoirs of Peggy 

Guggenheim. New York: The Dial Press, 1946. 

Vail, Karole P. B. Peggy Guggenheim: A Celebration. New 
York: H.N. Abrams, 1998. 



A KAWAKUBO REI 

(1942- ) Japanese fashion designer 

To "Western eyes that have been schooled to view 
symmetry and continuity as beautiful, avant-garde 
designer Kawakubo Rei's fashions may seem dis- 
torted, misshapen, and even anarchical in their 
refusal to follow Western ideals of feminine beauty. 
To the Japanese eye, however, her clothing reflects the 
search for shibusa, or the ultimate beauty found in 
nature. Kawakubo's worn and torn clothing reflects 
the Japanese word sabi, the way natural objects fade 
with time. Sabi connotes the repose or state of 
decline when, for example, blossoms reach their full 
bloom and then begin to curl, dropping their petals. 
Mimicking nature, Kawakubo deconstructs fabric 
and then remakes it into a fashionable garment. 

Citing another way in which the West differs from 
the East, Kawakubo notes that her aesthetic leans 
toward the abstract, whereas Western clothing tends 
to be "body conscious" in its form-hugging shape. 
Kawakubo's gender-blurring clothes effect a sexless 
image designed for independent women who are not 
trying to attract men through revealing clothing. 

Born in Tokyo, Kawakubo — one of Japan's top 
designers — received no training in design. She stud- 



96 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



ied literature, philosophy, and Western and Eastern 
aesthetics in college, earning her degree in literature 
from Keio University in 1965. Asahi Kasei, a chemi- 
cal company that produced acrylic fibers, hired her to 
work in their advertising department when she fin- 
ished college. From 1967 to 1969, she worked as a 
freelance stylist, describing her ideas to pattern mak- 
ers and then selling them to fashion designers. 

Being a freelance stylist was a rarity in the 1960s and 
1970s, when Japan had not yet become one of the fash- 
ion centers of the world. Kawakubo's confidence in her 
ideas intensified, however, and she decided to launch a 
showing of her designs in 1973. She called her collec- 
tion Comme des Garcons, or "like the boys." 

With the success of her initial showing, Kawakubo 
opened her first store in Minami Aoyama in 1975. 
Kawakubo became a name in the international fashion 
design industry along with three other Japanese 
designers: Hanae Mori, Issey Miyake, and Yohji 
Yamamoto. These four designers helped establish 
Japan's reputation as a new center of international fash- 
ion design. Among the four, writers have deemed 
Kawakubo the most avant-garde of the Japanese avant- 
garde. Kawakubo resents critics' conflating the work of 
these four designers under the heading "Japanese," 
which she believes represents their refusal to see the 
uniqueness of each designer's work. 

No one can miss the oddities of Kawakubo's 
designs, however. An admirer of modern architecture, 
Kawakubo imitates the simplicity of Le Corbusier's 
(1887-1965) and Ando Tadao's sleek building designs 
in her fashions (Ando, a self-educated architect, was 
born in 1941). Kawakubo believes that, essentially, gar- 
ments are structures that house the body, much like 
buildings are structures that house people. Early on, her 
clothes were all black or dark gray; currently, she adds 
bits of color here and there. 

In the mid-1980s, she created holes placed asym- 
metrically at various places in sweaters, allowing 
wearers to put their heads and arms wherever they 
please. Kawakubo used fabric called "loom distressed 
weave," made by weaver Hiroshi Matsushita, which 
means that the cloth that was used made the sweaters 
looked faded and worn. Fashion writers called the 
overall effect the "Hiroshima bag lady look" and 



described it as "an homage to the spontaneity and 
inventiveness of street people." Priced at over $100, 
however, Kawakubo surely did not intend for her 
sweaters to be worn by the homeless (Kawakubo's 
fashions sparked a "poverty as art" fad, to the chagrin 
of social and humanitarian activists). 

Extending the same theme, Kawakubo then offered 
a line of lace knitwear that incorporated holes as well as 
small tears in the fabric. Others in the design world 
called these items "swiss cheese sweaters." 

Kawakubo's fashion empire has swelled since the 
early 1970s. She now has several stores around the 
world, some of which are within large department 
stores, and some are freestanding shops. (She collab- 
orated with architect Takao Kawasaki in designing 
the freestanding shops.) She also carefully controls 
the environment in her shop interiors, choosing the 
same black and gray colors for the walls and fix- 
tures. (What few fixtures there are: one journalist 
described her shops as so minimalist that often 
nothing at all is on display.) In addition to new 
shops, Kawakubo also launched a magazine devoted 
to fashion, called Six, in 1988. Kawakubo was the 
first designer to use non-professional models, 
including art world personalities and film celebri- 
ties, in Six, in catalogs, and in fashion shows. 

Kawakubo won the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prize 
in 1983, the Fashion Group "Night of the Stars" award 
in 1986, and the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des 
Lettres (the Chevalier order of arts and letters) in 1993. 

Further Reading 

Kondo, Dorrine. About Face: Performing Race in Fashion 

andTheater. London: Routledge, 1997. 
Menkes, Suzy. "Ode to the Abstract: When Designer Met 

Dance," International Herald Tribune (Jan. 8, 1998). 



A KYO MACHIKO (MotokoYano) 

(1924- ) Japanese actress 

Film directors at the Daiei Studio in Japan gave Kyo 
Machiko her first break in film when they discovered 
the glamorous figure she presented on stage as a 
dancer. Kyo's best-known work has been her role as 



97 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



Masago in Akira Kurosawas (1919-98) film about 
truth-telling, Rashomon (1951), which brought her 
international fame. She also played Awaji no kami in 
Genji monogatari (based on Shikibu MURASAKl's Tale 
ofGenji) in 1951. Kyo represents the great explosion 
of Japanese cinema on the international film scene in 
the 1950s and 1960s. 

Kyo was born Yano Motoko on March 25, 1924, 
in Osaka City, Japan. She attended Azuma Elemen- 
tary School until age 12, when her formal schooling 
ended. In 1936, she joined the Osaka Shochiku Girls 
Revue. With this group, she made her formal stage 
debut as a popular dancer. In 1944, she made her first 
film, Danjuro sandai (Three Generations of Dan- 
juro). Three years later, the Daiei Studio offered her a 
contract, with which she made dozens of movies. Her 
appearance as a dancer in Saigo ni warau otoko ("The 
Last Laugh for Man") turned her into a film star. Her 
television debut came in 1964 in a show called Abu- 
raderi, which was subsequently made into the film 
Amai shiru ("Sweet Sweet"). 

Kyo employed the type of slow, languorous move- 
ment used in No (or Noh) drama. No drama began 
perhaps as early as the 1 1th century in Japan, becom- 
ing popular by the 14th century. No theater features 
solo and choral singing, accompanied by a small 
orchestra. The plays that are performed in No the- 
aters are very short: they often take only about 10 
minutes to read, but the performance of a 10-minute 
play lasts much longer, sometimes over an hour. No 
plays are performed very slowly and deliberately. The 
dramas are intended to portray much more than 
what the audience sees on stage; the costume, the 
scenery, and the dialogue communicate a deeper 
meaning behind what is being represented on stage. 
Kyo's best performance of No drama was in Ugetsu 
monogatari ("Tale of Ugetsu," 1953), a ghost story, in 
which she played Lady Wakasa. She conveyed the 
chilling atmosphere typical of the ghost story genre, 
combining horror with eroticism. 

Kyo Machiko's success in the fdm Rashomon 
helped to popularize her unique style. Rashomon tells 
the tale of the rape of a woman, Masago, and the 
murder of a man, possibly by a bandit. The story is 
told in flashbacks from the differing perspectives of 



four narrators. The film's name comes from the old, 
crumbling gate in Kyoto, formerly the capital of 
Japan. The four narrators congregate under the gate 
when they seek shelter from a downpour. The four 
discuss the recent crime, which has shocked the 
region, and philosophize about what the crime tells 
us about the human condition. Each narrator tells 
the story of the crime in a different way, remember- 
ing different details that seem important to him but 
not to the others. In the end, the story is about the 
human inability ever to completely know the truth 
about anything. 

Kyo portrayed a temperamental Masago, whose 
seductive nature bewitched her male counterparts, but 
whose assertiveness shocked them even more. Film 
critics have hailed Kyo's performance as the most strik- 
ing of all the remarkable performances given in 
Rashomon. Masago appears in each of the four men's 
recollections, as she is the victim of the rape. Her per- 
formance of the events surrounding the crime, and the 
crime itself, differs each time a different narrator 
relates the story. She is alternately wholesome, treach- 
erous, sexy, sympathetic, or vicious. It is hard to imag- 
ine a more difficult role than that of Masago. 

Most of Kyo's performances have involved alluring 
sexual attractiveness, but she also extended her range 
in a number of other films. In Jigoku-mon ("The Gate 
of Hell," 1953), for example, she portrayed Kesa, a 
tragic aristocratic wife; in Akasen chitai ("Street of 
Shame," 1956) she played Mickie, a defiant young 
prostitute. In 1959, she played Sumiko, the leading 
lady of an acting company in Ukigusa ("Floating 
Weeds"). The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) 
marked Kyo's first appearance in an American film and 
in a comic performance (her success in the role led 
Daiei to seek other comic portrayals for her). The film 
features an army captain, played by Marlon Brando, 
trying to bring American culture to Okinawa. 

Akira Kurosawa's films introduced Kyo Machiko 
to the West and, according to David Thomson, 
changed Western attitudes about feminine beauty. 
"So Western introductions to Japanese fdm were 
automatically linked to our view of Kyo," writes 
Thomson, "always in period costume, always seduc- 
tive, mysterious and gently easing away that Western 



98 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



prejudice: that Asian women could not be erotic or 
attractive." Kyo's vast repertoire proves that women 
actors, regardless of nationality, have much more to 
offer than mere feminine beauty. 

Further Reading 

Actors and Actresses: International Dictionary of Film and 

Filmmakers. Nicolet V. Elert and Aruna Vasudevan, eds. 

Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. 
Richie, Donald. Japanese Cinema: Film Style and National 

Character. New York: Anchor Books, 1971. 
Thomson, David. A Biographical Dictionary of Film. New 

York: Knopf, 1994. 



& MADISON, DOLLEY (Dolley Payne 
Madison) 

(1768-1849) American first lady 

The American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) 
once described Dolley Madison as "a fine, portly, 
buxom dame," and her husband, fourth U.S. president 
James Madison (1751-1836) as a "withered little 
apple-john." The contrast between the two hinted at 
their respective positions in Washington, D.C., the 
seat of social and governmental power in 19th-century 
America. Dolley Madison, as first lady, wielded power 
not as an elected official but by virtue of her wedding 
ring and her position as the nations stylish hostess. 
James Madison, dressed in black broadcloth appropri- 
ate to a conservative politician, had the authority to 
engage the nation in battle or plunge the economy to 
the brink of ruin. Historian Catherine Allgor argues 
that Dolley Madison's style — on display at the 
"Squeeze" parties she threw for Washington's power 
elite — betrayed nothing less than the manifestation of 
women's right to rule alongside their husbands. 

Madison was born on May 20, 1768, near Guil- 
ford, North Carolina, to an unsuccessful merchant 
and planter, John Payne, and his wife, Mary Coles. 
While still an infant, Dolley moved with her family 
to her maternal family's farmland in Virginia. In 
1783, John Payne, a Quaker, freed his slaves and 
moved his wife and eight children to Philadelphia, 
where he opened a starch business. When the enter- 
prise failed six years later, Mary Coles turned their 




American First Lady Dolley Madison, 

from an original picture by Gilbert Stuart, 

in possession of Richard Curtis, Esq. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 

house into a boardinghouse from which derived the 
family's only income. 

In 1790, Madison married John Todd, a Quaker 
lawyer from Pennsylvania. The couple had two 
children, but husband and infant son died in the 
yellow fever epidemic that swept through Philadelphia 
in 1793. When Aaron Burr (U.S. vice president, 
1801-05) introduced the widow to a 43-year-old 
bachelor named James Madison, a Republican politi- 
cian from Orange County, Virginia, a marriage 
between the two quickly developed. James Madison 
was called the "father of the Constitution," and he was 
one of the signers of the Bill of Rights; but he was also 
an Episcopalian, and the Quaker church disowned 
Dolley Madison when she married him. 

During the first years of marriage, James Madison 
represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate in Philadelphia, 



99 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



the nation's capital at the time. When his term ended in 
1797, the couple returned to the Madison plantation, 
called Montpelier. However, in 1801, after the election 
of Thomas Jefferson as president, Madison accepted a 
post in the Jefferson administration as secretary of state. 
By then, the capital had been moved to Washington, 
D.C., and the Madisons took up residence in the small 
town where a few politicians, a smattering of govern- 
ment officials and diplomats, determined the nation's 
business. It was not, in 1801, a town about which one 
would boast. 

Dolley Madison's friend Margaret Bayard Smith 
commented on Madison's diary (later published as 
The First Forty Years of Washington Society in 1906) 
that Madison "was a foe to dullness in every form, 
even when invested with the dignity which high cer- 
emonial could bestow." When James Madison 
became president in 1809, Mrs. Madison became 
Washington, D.C.'s first first lady and the nation's 
most important hostess. She deliberately provided a 
contrast between the United States and the Euro- 
pean nations with which it had business: the snob- 
bery that was presumed to set the tone in European 
capital cities was not welcome in the United States. 
Though always elegantly dressed and seen in an 
exquisitely decorated White House, Madison wel- 
comed simplicity and a degree of casualness in her 
guests' manners. In effect, Madison became the fem- 
inine symbol of Republican virtue: honesty, hard 
work, and humility. 

Though not a professional decorator (it would be 
over a century before a woman entered the field — see 
Elsie de WOLFE), Madison helped architect Benjamin 
Latrobe create the new "White House and all it sym- 
bolized. Madison found the same middle ground 
between palatial opulence and virtuous simplicity 
that characterized her personal style. Of particular 
importance in the White House was the drawing 
room, for it was in this room that Madison held her 
famous "Squeezes." 

Madison set the tone for these soirees by lighting 
and arranging 1,000 candles in front of the full- 
length mirrors that adorned the walls of the room 
and around which hung crimson red draperies. Often 
entertaining 500 guests or more, according to 



Catherine Allgor, Madison's gestures, movements 
about the room, conversations, and even facial 
expressions communicated clear signals that shaped 
American politics. For example, in the spring of 
1812, Madison opened her snuffbox and offered the 
U.S. Congressman and anti-British war hawk Henry 
Clay a pinch. He took the snuff and moved in closer 
to listen to what Mrs. Madison had to say. In the 
context of Washington politics, the gesture was read 
as an indication that President Madison, previously 
lukewarm to the idea of armed conflict with Britain, 
was ready to wage war. 

And so he did, on June 18, 1812. The War of 
1812 (1812-14) arose primarily out of U.S. griev- 
ances over oppressive maritime practices on the part 
of Great Britain. In August 1814, the British landed 
35 miles from Washington, D.C. The president left 
the city to review troops in the field, leaving Dolley 
Madison to defend the White House. By August 24, 
the British were almost literally at her back door. She 
packed a wagon with valuables and had the items 
moved to the Bank of Maryland, thus saving the 
nation's home from utter destruction. Dolley Madi- 
son became a war hero. 

Washington, D.C., according to Allgor, has 
always been a city unable to fully accept women in 
powerful positions. Witness, she explains, the defeat 
of First Lady Hillary Clinton's health care programs 
in 1994. Allgor claims, however, that in the years 
before President Andrew Jackson's popular "common 
man" politics swept the power elites away in 1830, 
women such as Dolley Madison held sway. 

When James Madison died in 1836, his wife 
remained at Montpelier another year but then returned 
to Washington, D.C, the city she helped define. With 
her husband's death, however, and her son Payne 
Todd's irresponsible finances, she was forced to sell her 
husband's papers to ward off creditors. When she died 
on July 12, 1849, in Washington, D.C, thousands of 
friends mourned at her state burial. 

Further Reading 

Allgor, Catherine. Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of 
Washington Help Build a City and a Government. Char- 
lottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000. 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



Madison, Dolley. Memoirs and Letters of Dolly Madison, 
Wife of James Madison, President of the United States, 
1886. Reprint. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 
1971. 

Moore, Virginia. The Madisons: A Biography. New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1979. 



A MARCOS, IMELDA (Imelda Romualdez 
Marcos) 

(1930- ) Philippine beauty queen and 
politician 

"I am a soldier for beauty," remarked Imelda Marcos 
to a Newsweek magazine reporter in 1987. Also known 
as the "Iron Butterfly," the eccentric millionaire Mar- 
cos, famous for her globe-trotting shopping sprees, 
once built a palace entirely out of coconuts. The wife 
of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos 
(1917-89), Imelda Marcos wielded considerable 
power in her own right, simply by being "Imelda." She 
once accompanied her husband on an official visit to 
the United States followed by an entourage of 40 assis- 
tants carrying 300 suitcases. Imelda Marcos estab- 
lished a niche for herself in her husband's government 
and was then indicted on charges of embezzlement in 
the United States and in her homeland. She is perhaps 
irrevocably linked to her noteworthy collection of 
1,000 pairs of designer shoes. 

Imelda Romualdez was born to a prominent 
family in the Central Visaya in Leyte Province, 
Philippines. She stepped onto the social and politi- 
cal stage after she caught the eye of the young, 
ambitious politician Ferdinand Marcos during a 
beauty contest in her hometown. She won the con- 
test with her looks and her singing voice and there- 
after carried with her yet another moniker, the 
"Rose of Tacloban." The couple married in 1954 
and had three children, Imee Marcos-Manotoc, Fer- 
dinand Marcos, and Irene Marcos-Araneta. 

Ferdinand Marcos served for six years in the Philip- 
pine Senate before winning the presidency in 1965. 
Marcos won the race with the help of Imelda, who 
proved to be an able speechwriter and campaign coor- 
dinator. In 1973, the Philippines adopted a constitu- 
tion that gave Marcos broad powers as both president 



and prime minister. In 1975, Imelda Marcos became 
the governor of Metro Manila, the capital city and 
home to 10 percent of the nations population. As gov- 
ernor, Imelda Marcos spent more than $100,000,000 
building luxury hotels and a cultural center in down- 
town Manila to help boost tourism and appease her 
wealthy political friends. Unfortunately, the beautifica- 
tion project failed in later years when the hotels began 
losing money. Meanwhile, in addition to her duties as 
governor, President Marcos sent his wife on numerous 
diplomatic missions around the world. Imelda Marcos 
contributed to negotiations in Libya over the separa- 
tion of Mindanao, a southern island of the Philippines 
where a secessionist movement emerged in the 1970s, 
leading Muslim and Christians to battle each other for 
domination. Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law 
there in 1972. 

In 1978, Imelda Marcos was elected to the 
Interim National Assembly of the Philippines. Her 
term suffered under accusations that the vote had 
been fraudulent. She was also named to the cabinet as 
minister of human settlements, one of the highest, 
most prestigious government posts. She had virtually 
unlimited access to funds that she used to improve 
housing conditions in the country. 

In 1983, the Marcos regime began a struggle for 
its political life. Ferdinand Marcos's health faltered, 
and the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino led 
to accusations of dirty politics within the administra- 
tion. Imelda Marcos became the government's pri- 
mary spokesperson, leading many pundits to believe 
that she planned on taking over the presidency. A 
fraudulent election in 1986 named Ferdinand Mar- 
cos as winner, but overwhelming popular support for 
Corazon AQUINO overrode Marcos's attempts to 
remain in power. The Marcos family, along with 
about 100 other dishonored families, fled to Hawaii. 
Imelda Marcos left behind evidence of her compul- 
sive shopping and her obsession with material wealth 
at the presidential palace, including the famous 
shoes. Ferdinand Marcos and his wife were indicted 
by the U.S. government on charges that they had 
embezzled money from the Philippines and used it to 
buy real estate in the United States. But when Marcos 
could no longer stand trial, the charges against them 



101 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



were dropped. He died in Hawaii in 1989. In 1990, a 
jury found Imelda Marcos not guilty. 

From 1990 to 1993, Imelda Marcos defended 
herself against charges of theft of $200 million from 
the Philippine National Bank (she was eventually 
acquitted) and of graft, the only charge that stuck. 
She was sentenced to 1 8 to 24 years in prison but was 
released pending appeal. Despite her shady links to 
crime and corruption, she won a seat to her nation's 
house of representatives — by a large majority — in 
1995. From her office in government, Imelda Marcos 
still battled her government over the Marcos fortune, 
which People magazine estimated at $500 million 
dollars that had been stashed away in Swiss bank 
accounts. The extravagance of Imelda Marcos 
remains a legacy of the Iron Butterfly, and of the 21 
years that the Marcos family ruled the Philippines. 

Further Reading 

Mitchell, Jared. "The Role of the Iron Butterfly," Maclean's 

(September 1964): 19. 
Pedrosa, Carmen Navarro. Imelda Marcos. London: Wei- 

denfeld and Nicolson, 1987. 
Romula, Beth Day. Inside the Palace: Phe Rise and Fall of 

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. New York: Putnam, 

1987. 



A MORRELL, LADY OTTOLINE (Lady 

Ottoline Violet Ann Cavendish-Bentinck) 

(1873-1938) British philanthropist 

"Life," wrote patron of the arts Lady Ottoline Mor- 
rell, "lived on the same plane as poetry and as music, 
is my distinctive desire and standard. It is the failure 
to accomplish this which makes me discontented 
with myself." When Morrell relocated from London's 
Bloomsbury district — where she and her famous 
writer, philosopher, and artist friends met to discuss 
aesthetic and philosophical questions — to Garsing- 
ton Manor near Oxford, the village church bells rang 
to welcome her, and her Bloomsbury friends soon 
joined her there as well. 

From the pens of the Bloomsbury Group came 
some of Britain's finest modern literature. Blooms- 
bury members — among whom were Virginia Woolf 



(1882-1941), her sister Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, T. S. 
Eliot (1888-1965), and, of course, Ottoline Mor- 
rell — were influenced by the philosopher George 
Edward Moore (1873-1958) and his work Principia 
Ethica (1903). Moore, who rejected the notion that 
"goodness" and "truth" were definable, insisted that 
instead of asking whether a statement is true or false, 
one must instead analyze how the commentator 
arrived at his or her statement. Modernism, and the 
literary works rising out of this new aesthetic and cul- 
tural sensibility, likewise tended to reject the idea that 
the world was inherently meaningful. Modern writ- 
ers projected a pessimistic (as opposed to Victorian 
optimism), fragmented (rather than progressive), and 
apathetic view of life that derived in part from the 
senseless slaughter and destruction of World War I 
(1914-18). 

Ottoline Bentinck, daughter of Lieutenant 
Colonel Arthur Bentinck, became an aristocrat by 
virtue of her father's political views. After Arthur 
Bentinck's death, Benjamin Disraeli, Britain's prime 
minister from 1874 to 1880, asked Queen Victoria 
to bestow aristocratic titles on all of Bentinck's chil- 
dren in gratitude for his political support. Ottoline 
Bentinck learned a strategy that she used throughout 
her life: associating oneself with the right people pays 
off in the end. 

Ottoline Bentinck attended Somerville College at 
Oxford, where she became interested in literature 
through English writer H. H. Asquith (1852-1928). 
In February 1902, she married Philip Morrell, a 
lawyer who became M.P. for South Oxfordshire. 
Lady Morrell gave birth to twins in 1906, but only 
the girl survived. Her marriage to her husband was 
stormy, in part because Ottoline pushed her husband 
into a political career for which he was ill suited. Lord 
and Lady Morrell both had numerous affairs, she 
with many famous men, including the writer D. H. 
Lawrence (1885-1930) and philosopher Bertrand 
Russell (1872-1970) (she received over 2,000 letters 
from Russell). 

Morrell spent most of her life patronizing artists 
and writers and collecting art. As a philanthropist, 
she founded the Contemporary Art Society, through 
which she collected and exhibited paintings. She 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



encouraged and displayed the works of creative En- 
glish painters as well, providing them with a venue in 
which to have their paintings seen by the public. She 
invited new poets and writers to meet their older role 
models, so that they could improve their crafts. In 
short, she promoted literature and the arts. 

Morrell kept a journal of her interactions with 
Bloomsbury intellectuals, providing cultural histori- 
ans with evidence of the relationship between intel- 
lectuals and the people who support them. Morrell, 
an eccentric figure with a rather unusual personality, 
came to represent the thrust of modernity that 
formed the basis of much of the work produced by 
the Bloomsbury Group's members. She inspired two 
characters created by Bloomsbury members D. H. 
Lawrence (1885-1930) (in Women in Love) and 
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) (in Crome Yellow). 

Women in Love (1920), considered to be Lawrence's 
masterpiece, reflects the uncertainties and anxieties of 
the modern world. A firsthand and penetrating look 
into early 20th century England, Lawrence's characters, 
the Brangwen sisters, emerge as independent women 
confronting an ambiguous world. In Chapter 8, the sis- 
ters visit Hermione Roddice, the character modeled 
after Ottoline Morrell. Hermione represents the fakery 
of upper-class British society, consumed by outward 
appearances and manners. After the driver drops the 
two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun, at Hermione's estate, 
Hermione comes out to greet them. 

And she [Hermione] stood to look at them. The 
two girls were embarrassed because she would not 
move into the house, but must have her little 
scene of welcome there on the path. The servants 
waited. "Come in," said Hermione at last, having 
fully taken in the pair of them. Gudrun was the 
more beautiful and attractive, she had decided 
again, Ursula was more physical, more womanly. 
She admired Gudrun's dress more . . . "You would 
like to see your room now, wouldn't you! Yes. We 
will go up now, shall we?" Ursula was glad when 
she could be left alone in her room. Hermione 
lingered so long, made such a stress on one. She 
stood so near to one, pressing herself near upon 
one, in a way that was most embarrassing and 
oppressive. She seemed to hinder one's workings. 



Huxley's portrait of Morrell in Crome Yellow was 
no more flattering. The writers' depiction of their 
hostess dampened Morrell's friendship with both of 
them, although Lawrence later wrote admiringly of 
Morrell. "I wish," he lamented, "and wish deeply, 
there could be Ottoline again and Garsington again." 

At least part of the unflattering descriptions of her 
can be blamed on the gossipy nature of the Bloomsbury 
members. Often the gossip at Bloomsbury came in the 
form of letters and diaries written by the participants in 
the group, many of which have been collected and pub- 
lished after the writers' deaths. Because many of the 
Bloomsbury participants were writers, they tended to 
use flowery language that may also be described as 
exaggeration. For example, writer and feminist Virginia 
Woolf described Lady Morrell as "a mouldy rat-eaten 
ship, garish as a strumpet, slippery-souled." 

Photographs of Lady Morrell exist, and certainly 
no one would describe her as ordinary looking. 
Which was perfectly fine with Lady Morrell, who 
wrote, "conventionality is deadness." She was six feet 
tall, had copper-colored hair and turquoise eyes. 
Instead of playing down her unusual looks, she 
enhanced them. She wore huge hats and high-heeled 
scarlet shoes to make herself appear even taller. 

Others had similarly contradictory opinions of 
their hostess. Some of Morrell's associates characterized 
her as a bizarre, eccentric, overdressed, and overbearing 
aristocrat who tried — and failed — to get into En- 
gland's intellectual society. Those with whom she spent 
much of her life described her as "pretentious," and 
even "demonic." On the other hand, some flattered 
her with their descriptions of her personality. When 
she died, her friend Margot Asquith wrote in her obit- 
uary, "I never heard her utter an unkind word — of 
how many other clever women can we say the same?" 

Lady Morrell's biographers have tried to answer 
the question of why such a seemingly generous per- 
son provoked so much hostility from others. Ironi- 
cally, it seems that her very generosity may have been 
her greatest detriment. Lady Morrell had difficulty 
making friends during her childhood. Not surpris- 
ingly, part of the problem lay in her inability to trust 
the motivations of her friends, given her wealth and 
her connections in British society. But her craving for 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



affection was strong, and she deepened her own mis- 
trust by lavishing gifts and hospitality on people, 
without giving them opportunity to reciprocate. 

She also had a bad habit of saying the wrong thing 
to people she didn't know well. She once remarked to 
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), a Celtic poet, 
"It's wonderful how the Irish have got so much more 
sensible now — none of that Celtic twilight stuff any- 
more." In other words, Lady Morrell had a tendency 
to put her foot in her mouth. 

In 1937, Morrell had surgery to eliminate cancer in 
her jaw, which left her badly scarred. Her physician, 
Dr. Cameron, treated her with a powerful antibiotic 
called Prontosil. Cameron committed suicide after sev- 
eral of his other patients threatened to sue him because 
Prontosil was found to be effective only with severe 
infections such as scarlet fever. Lady Morrell, upon 
hearing this news, decided to return to the clinic and 
request treatment anyway. She died while Dr. 
Cameron's assistant was injecting her with Prontosil. 
The cause of death was given as heart failure. 

Further Reading 

Darroch, Sandra Jobson. Ottoline: The Life of Lady Ottoline 

Morrell. London: Cassell, 1988. 
Morrell, Ottoline Violet Ann Cavendish-Bentinck. Dear 

Lady Ginger . . . Auckland: Auckland University Press, 

1983. 
Seymour, Miranda. Ottoline Morrell: Life on the Grand 

Scale. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1992. 



A ONASSIS, JACKIE (Jacqueline Bouvier 
Kennedy Onassis) 

(1929-1994) American first lady 
and book editor 

Perhaps no other woman in post— World War II his- 
tory symbolized American womanhood as did Jackie 
Onassis. A career woman until her marriage to John 
F. Kennedy (1917-63), Onassis then became a full- 
time mother and housewife. After the death of her 
second husband, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle 
Onassis, Jackie Onassis went back to her writing 
career and became an editor at Doubleday Publish- 
ing. Like a recurring nightmare, tragedy beset this 



most photographed icon of feminine beauty and 
grace throughout her life: she lost two children dur- 
ing pregnancy, two husbands, and her beloved father 
all before she reached the age of 46. Though she her- 
self interviewed people during her career as a newspa- 
per reporter, once her marriage catapulted her to 
celebrity, she spent the remainder of her life craving, 
but rarely getting, her privacy. 

Jackie Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929, to a 
gambling, alcoholic stockbroker nicknamed "Black 
Jack" Bouvier and his wife, Janet Lee Bouvier. Her 
parents divorced in 1940, and Janet Lee married a 
wealthy attorney, Hugh Auchincloss, Jr., two years 
later. Jackie spent a privileged if unhappy childhood, 
spending most of her time apart from her father. She 
attended Miss Chapin's, a prestigious school in Man- 
hattan, and Miss Porter's in Farmington, Connecti- 
cut, both boarding schools. 

She was a captivating beauty, and when she made 
her debut into New York society in 1947, the Hearst 
newspapers heralded her as the Queen Debutante of 
the Year. Also a woman of keen intellect, Bouvier 
attended Vassar College, earning a spot on the dean's 
list. She spent her junior year abroad at the Sor- 
bonne, in Paris, an experience she valued among the 
highest of her college career. 

When Bouvier finished college at the George 
Washington University in Washington, D.C., she 
won a writing contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. 
Under the terms of the competition, the winner was 
to spend six months at the magazine's office in New 
York and six months in its Paris bureau, but her 
mother and stepfather discouraged the plan, fearing 
that their daughter would stay in Paris permanently. 
So she turned the prize down and accepted a position 
as a reporter and photographer for the Washington 
Times-Herald. The former Queen Debutante drove 
around the city in an old dented car, taking photo- 
graphs and interviewing people on the streets. 

Bouvier met the Democrat politician John F. 
Kennedy the year before he was elected to represent 
Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate. When he moved to 
Washington, D.C., the two became engaged and 
were married in 1953, one of the biggest occasions in 
Washington history; the reception included more 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



than 1,300 guests. The solitary disappointment of 
the event for Onassis was that her father was too 
intoxicated to escort his daughter down the aisle, or 
even attend the ceremony. 

Despite Onassis's shy, retiring demeanor, her expe- 
riences as a reporter enabled her to assist her husband 
in his political career. Onassis coached John F. 
Kennedy in his public speaking and helped him to 
develop the poised, charismatic personal qualities that 
would endear him to his Massachusetts constituents. 
Later, during one of the defining moments in Ameri- 
can political history, John F. Kennedy used the lessons 
his wife taught him about public speaking during the 
first televised presidential debate against the Republi- 
can presidential candidate, Richard Nixon. 

In August 1956, Onassis went into premature 
labor during her seventh month of pregnancy and 
delivered a stillborn baby while her husband was away 
on vacation. A year later, her father died. At this time, 
too, rumors circulated that John F. Kennedy had been 
involved in numerous affairs with other women. 
Among the most widely circulated photographs of the 
Kennedys is one depicting a happy family, with 
Kennedy standing above his seated wife and their chil- 
dren Caroline and John, Jr., born in 1957 and 1960, 
respectively. But behind the facade, the Kennedy mar- 
riage suffered under considerable strain. 

John F. Kennedy's victory in the presidential elec- 
tion of 1960 merely added to the attention that 
already wore on the family. Onassis began shifting her 
focus to her new home, the White House. Her pre- 
rogative was to create a private residence for her fam- 
ily, while at the same time acknowledging the public 
space in which she was to function as hostess to a 
nation. Like Dolley MADISON, Onassis undertook the 
task of redecorating the White House. She formed the 
White House Historical Association and hired a cura- 
tor to help her choose historical paintings to adorn 
the walls. She wrote the foreword to The White House: 
A Historical Guide, and conducted a televised tour of 
the home with its 19th-century furnishings, paint- 
ings, and other art objects. The tour was later broad- 
cast in 160 foreign countries. 

In 1963, tragedy struck twice: first with the death of 
another child, three days after its birth, and then the 




American First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the 

White House Diplomatic Reception Room. 

Courtesy John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library. 

assassination of the president in Dallas, Texas, in 
November. Onassis witnessed the horrifying effects of 
the assassins bullet as it killed her husband sitting next 
to her in the roofless automobile carrying them through 
the crowded downtown Dallas streets. Once again, the 
nation's eyes focused on Onassis with her children, 
when John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999), guided by his 
mother, saluted his father's casket as it was being lowered 
into the ground at Arlington National Cemetery. Her 
husband's funeral was followed five years later with the 
assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. 
Kennedy in June 1968. Onassis had been actively 
involved in her brother-in-law's campaign. 

Onassis married the wealthy Aristotle Onassis, 23 
years her senior, in the fall of 1968; he left her a 
widow in 1975. Her children nearly grown, and her 
political and social obligations fulfilled, Onassis, at 
the age of AG, took a job as a book editor at Viking 



105 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



Press, remaining there until 1978, when Doubleday 
Publishing named her associate editor, then full edi- 
tor, and finally senior editor. She continued to work 
into the 1990s. After she died of non-Hodgkin's lym- 
phoma on May 19, 1994, she was buried next to 
John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in 
Washington, D.C. 

Further Reading 

Davis, John H. Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir. 

New York: Wiley, 1996. 
Heymann, C. David. A Woman Named Jackie. Secaucus, 

N.J.: L. Stuart, 1989. 
Ladowsky, Ellen. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. New York: 

Park Lane Press, 1997. 



A POMPADOUR, MADAME DE (Jean 
Antoinette Poisson, Jean Antoinette 
d'Etioles) 

(1721—1764) French mistress to Louis XV 
and patron of the arts 

Madame de Pompadour was mistress, confidant, and 
adviser to Louis XV (1710-74), king of France from 
1715 until 1774. She influenced art, architecture, 
and policy during his reign. A woman of keen wit 
and sharp mind, her intellectual circle included 
Voltaire (1694-1778) and other writers of the new 
Encyclopedic, but she was unable to ignite similar 
intellectual pursuits in the king. With her brother the 
Marquis de Merigny she oversaw building develop- 
ments, including the Place de la Concorde, the Petit 
Trianon, and the Chateau de Bellevue. She supported 
artisans of all kinds and encouraged the new royal 
porcelain factory at Sevres. 

As the kings mistress, Madame de Pompadour had 
her portrait painted several times, the most famous of 
which was done by Francois Boucher (1703-70) in 
1759. In the painting, Madame de Pompadour is 
reclining in a chair, or possibly a bench (her dress has 
so many folds that it completely covers the furniture). 
You can barely see her tiny feet sticking out beneath 
her skirts. She is looking off to the side, and in her lap 
is an open book; one hand rests on the pages of the 
book. The other hand rests alongside a table full of 



books at her side. She is sitting alone in a garden. The 
portrait gives the impression that the painter had 
snuck up on Madame de Pompadour and caught her 
by surprise, in order to capture a glimpse of her loveli- 
ness with his palette. All in all, the picture exudes 
charm and a respect for the printed page. 

Contrast Boucher's exquisite portrait with 
Madame de Pompadour's epitaph, which reads: 

Here lies a maid for twenty years, 

a whore for fifteen 

and a procuress for seven. 

(A procuress is a person who arranges sex for the king.) 
Madame de Pompadour was born Jean Antoinette 
Poisson on December 29, 1721. Her father, Francois 
Poisson, a financial speculator, had been caught steal- 
ing money and quickly left France. Jean Antoinette 
and her mother, Madeleine de la Motte Poisson, were 
taken in by a wealthy friend, Le Normant de Tourne- 
hem. Thanks to a good education, Jean Antoinette 
grew into an intelligent, witty, and cultured young 
woman. (In fact, the painter Francois Boucher 
instructed her in art.) At 19 she married the nephew 
of her benefactor, Charles Guillaume Le Normant 
d'Etioles. The couple had one daughter. 

Jean Antoinette quickly tired of family life and 
became an active socialite. The year King Louis XV's 
mistress, the young Duchesse de Chateauroux, died 
in 1744, she met Louis XV at a masquerade ball held 
in honor of his son's wedding. The king, disguised as 
a tree, danced with Madame d'Etioles, disguised as 
the goddess Diana. Louis XV invited himself to her 
house for dinner and spent the night. Soon, Jean 
Antoinette separated legally from her husband and 
came to live with the king at his palace at Versailles 
where she spent most of the rest of her life. Louis XV 
bestowed noble rank upon her, naming her marquise, 
or Madame de Pompadour. 

The king's favorite mistress kept him happy and 
amused. Madame de Pompadour shared the king's 
passion for building, landscape, and the decorative 
arts. No one influenced French taste in the first half 
of the 18th century more than Madame de Pom- 
padour. Her houses were fabled for their elegance and 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



beauty, especially the chateaux of La Celle, Bellevue, 
and the Hotel d'Evreux. Perhaps the most fitting 
monument to the friendship between Louis XV and 
Pompadour is the palace which he built for her in the 
gardens of Versailles, the "Petit Trianon"; She did not 
live to see it completed. 

By 1750, Madame de Pompadour no longer 
enjoyed the King's company in bed; he had long 
since taken younger mistresses in the Pare aux Cerfs 
(the Deer Park), a bevy of young girls in whose com- 
pany Louis XV indulged himself. Parisiennes joked 
that just as every man descends from Adam, so every 
Frenchman descends from Louis XV. Pompadour did 
not discourage his forays in the Deer Park; in fact, 
she encouraged him. 

By this time, the former favorite mistress had 
become more a partner to Louis XV than a lover, and 
she seems to have delighted as much in her new role as 
in her previous role. She became the Kings confidant 
and adviser, suggesting such appointments as that of 
the due de Choiseul. Choiseul, and other ministers, 
encouraged Louis to pursue a costly alliance between 
France and Austria, which ultimately brought about 
the disastrous Seven Years War. The war, fought 
between 1756 and 1763, finally cost France its North 
American colonies. A fierce patriot, Madame de Pom- 
padour slipped into a depression. French nobles began 
referring to Louis's government as a "harlotocracy" 
(run by the harlot Pompadour). Taxes were increased 
in order to finance the war, but the French blamed the 
hike on Madame de Pompadour's extravagances. 

In light of the values and prejudices of the time in 
which she lived, clearly, Madame was an opportunist, 
taking advantage of her ability to charm the king in 
order to gain stature and influence in the court of the 
king of France. In the eyes of the French, Pompadour 
had the complete attention of the most powerful 
man in France, an accomplishment few could match. 
But she stepped over the line of propriety by 
indulging too much, and, as a result, she paid a hefty 
price for her relationship with the king in the form of 
ridicule and as the brunt of cruel jokes. Charmer or 
harlot? Perhaps a little bit of both. Madame de Pam- 
padour died in 1764 of congestion of the lungs, 
according to her physician. 



Further Reading 

Goodman, Elise. The Portraits of Madame de Pompadour. 
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 

Mitford, Nancy. Madame de Pompadour. New York: Harper 
&Row, 1968. 

Pompadour, Jean Antoinette Poisson. Letters of the Mar- 
chioness of Pompadour from MDCCLIII to MDCCLXII. 
London: Sold by W. Owen andT. Cadell, 1771. 

Tinayre, Marcelle. Madame de Pompadour, A Study in Tem- 
perament. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1926. 



A POST, EMILY (Emily Price Post) 

(1873-1960) American author and 
commentator on manners 

Perhaps Emily Post's fame as an "arbiter of etiquette" 
can best be gauged by the common usage of her 
name: in the 1940s, when one critiqued another's 
manners, one was "Emily Posting." Ironically, Post's 
reputation for dictating correct behavior came not 
from her own sense of propriety but from her literary 
agent. When Richard Duffy broached the idea of 
Post authoring a book on the subject, she demurred, 
saying that she hated the stuffiness of proper manners 
and despised people who took such things seriously. 
Moreover, Post had done one or two things in her life 
that would not be deemed "proper" by many in "high 
society." Nonetheless, she wrote the voluminous Eti- 
quette: in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, 
and its sales earned its author a fortune. 

Part of the book's appeal can be attributed to its 
timing. First published in 1922, Etiquette appeared at 
a time when Americans were told that — according to 
a 1929 Ladies Home Journal article — "everybody 
ought to be rich!" Most sectors of the U.S. economy, 
with the great exception of agriculture, were boom- 
ing in the 1920s, and everyone, from garbage collec- 
tors to Wall Street financiers, invested in the stock 
market in hopes of striking it rich. Since one ought to 
be rich, one would naturally need to know how to 
behave when one reached high society. 

Post herself was born into the society that "ordi- 
nary" Americans yearned to attain. Her father, archi- 
tect Bruce Price, designed prestigious buildings in 
Baltimore, where Emily was born on October 3, 



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FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



1873, and in Tuxedo Park, New York. When Emily 
was five, her father and her mother, Josephine Lee 
Price, moved to a brownstone house on 10th Street 
in New York City, spending summers at the fashion- 
able Maine resort town of Bar Harbor. Emily was 
educated by a German governess but spent many 
days with her father at his building sites. Later, she 
attended Mrs. Graham's Finishing School for young 
ladies. In 1892, she married banker Edwin M. Post, 
and they had two sons, Edwin and Bruce. 

In 1901, the elder Edwin Post lost most of his for- 
tune, and Emily's father died, leaving little inheri- 
tance. Emily Post's friends encouraged her to try 
novel writing, since they knew her to be a bright con- 
versationalist and superb correspondent. After 
reviewing some of her letters, Post wrote The Flight 
of the Moth, serialized in Ainslee's Magazine and then 
reissued in book form in 1904. The story featured a 
naive but beautiful widow and a sophisticated and 
worldly Russian nobleman. 

By 1905, Post, tired of her husband's numerous 
extramarital affairs and outrageous spending habits, 
sought and won a divorce at a time when divorce still 
carried with it a stigma, especially for women. Now a 
single mother with two small boys to raise, Mrs. Price 
Post — who had not asked for alimony and who used 
both her maiden and married names — reached back 
into her own childhood experiences in her father's 
office and began constructing model papier-mache 
houses that included interior furnishings. People were 
charmed, but Post soon realized that writing had been 
more lucrative. So she began working on a series of 
light, entertaining novels, often playing with the theme 
of cultural rivalry between the United States and 
Europe. Purple and Fire (1905) featured a fashionable 
young New Yorker whose husband treats her like a 
doormat, but who wisely shuns the advances of another 
man. Woven in the Tapestry (1908), Post's only fantasy 
novel, was set in an imaginary country called Ateria. In 
The Title Market (1909), Post explored the relation- 
ships of a shady European man who feigns aristocracy 
to win the hand of an American heiress, then smuggles 
priceless artwork out of Italy. In 1916, Munsey's Maga- 
zine commissioned By Motor to the Golden Gate, a trav- 
elogue of her cross-country trip with her son Edwin. 



Having achieved some fame, mostly for her fic- 
tion, Post expressed surprise when her agent, Richard 
Duffy, suggested the etiquette book. He convinced 
her that much of her fiction dealt with the topic, 
albeit indirectly, and persuaded her to try writing on 
a few topics relating to the social graces. Post agreed, 
and 10 months later she had written 250,000 words. 
The book became a best-seller well into the 1940s, 
appearing in a revised version in 1928 under the 
clever new title Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social 
Usage. The word blue in this context may be a subtle 
allusion to blue blood, or aristocratic, or blue book, a 
detailed account of the lives of politicians. 

Despite the title, Post won kudos for her down-to- 
earth advice on social behavior. She relied heavily on 
the golden rule when it came to social situations: she 
admonished her readers to use common sense, and to 
consider the feelings of others at all times. Etiquette 
dispensed tips on proper behavior during conversa- 
tion, travel, formal and informal entertaining, and on 
special occasions such as weddings and funerals. 
Advice on treating one's spouse, children, and ser- 
vants was followed by ideas on decorating and dress- 
ing. On eating corn, Post offered this sensible advice: 
"attack it with as little ferocity as possible ... at best, 
it is an ungraceful performance and to eat it greedily 
is a horrible sight." 

Following her success with Etiquette, Post read 
radio endorsements and wrote pamphlets on proper 
usage of such products as table linens and silverware. 
From 1929 to 1932, Post produced her own daily 
radio program, and from 1932 to 1960, she wrote a 
question and answer column syndicated in newspa- 
pers everywhere. Turning again to architecture and 
design, in 1930, she wrote The Personality of a House: 
The Blue Book of House Design. The recipient of vast 
numbers of letters and callers, Post employed a 
immense cadre of secretaries and clerks to help her 
handle the demand. 

Other practical books followed, including The 
Secret of Keeping Friends (1938), Children Are People, 
and Ideal Parents Are Comrades (1940), and Motoring 
Manners: The Blue Book of Traffic Etiquette (1949 — 
Post was an avid driver). And, finally, in 1949, the 
Emily Post Cookbook. Post's most frequently quoted 



108 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



statement sums up her relaxed, American attitude 
about manners: "Nothing is less important than 
which fork you use." She died on September 25, 
1960 in New York City. 

Further Reading 

Cate, James Lee. "Keeping Posted," University of Chicago 

Magazine 64 (May-June 1972): 24-34. 
Post, Edwin. Truly Emily Post. New York: Funk & Wagnalls 

Co., 1961. 
Post, Emily. Etiquette, with Introduction by Elizabeth L. 

Post. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969. 



A RATIA, ARMI 

(1912-1979) Finnish designer and 
businesswoman 

Armi Ratia based her design empire on the notion that 
a nation's landscape and cultural heritage could be 
recreated on a bolt of fabric. Ratia's focus on Finland 
was due, in part, to the history of her homeland Kare- 
lia, an area of contention between Finland and the 
Soviet Union. She started her design firm, Marimekko, 
after World War II when Scandinavian design and 
architecture gained worldwide fame; Marimekko's 
modernist, entrepreneurial creativity seemed to mock 
its communist neighbor to the east. Ratia's anti-fashion 
theory granted her the freedom from trendiness that 
she needed in order to adopt designs based on Finland's 
beautiful scenery and its culture of simplicity instead of 
the latest Paris fashions: you might say that Finnish cul- 
ture and Ratia's designs were "cut from the same piece 
of cloth." Together, architects and designers like 
Finnish-born Eero Saarinen (1910-61), Alvar Aalto 
(1898-1976), and Ratia created and popularized a 
Finnish design aesthetic. 

Karelia is a rural, sparsely populated farming 
republic located in northwestern Russia, bordered by 
Finland to the west, Russia to the east, the White Sea 
to the north, and Lake Ladoga to the south. An inde- 
pendent state until the ninth century, Eastern Karelia 
became part of Russia in 1323; Russian Czar Peter 
the Great (1672-1725) wrested Western Karelia 
from Sweden in 1721. Following the Russian Revo- 
lution in 1917 and the proclamation of Finnish inde- 



pendence from Russia, a 1920 peace agreement 
granted the Soviet Union control of Eastern Karelia, 
while Finland controlled Western Karelia. However, 
following the Soviet victory in the Russo-Finnish war 
of 1939-40, Western Karelia again passed into Soviet 
hands. When the peace treaty signed in 1947 for- 
mally declared all of Karelia to be part of the Soviet 
Union, four million Finnish refugees fled the area 
and moved to Finland, among them Armi Ratia and 
her husband, Viljo Ratia. 

Ratia was born in Karelia but received much of 
her training abroad. She attended the prestigious Art 
Industry Central School in Karelia in 1935, but then 
she left to study in Germany, including an internship 
in Tubingen. She managed a textile firm in Karelia 
until the Soviet occupation. Soon after, she and her 
husband left Karelia; they purchased Printex Oy, a 
manufacturer of oilcloth fabric in a Helsinki suburb. 
The couple remade the firm in 1951 by reintroduc- 
ing the technique of hand silk-screening on cotton 
sheets. The irregularities produced during the process 
resulted in a piece of fabric that looked "homemade." 
Although Ratia soon replaced the hand silk-screening 
process with machines, the natural fibers and designs 
Printex used harmonized with the popular image of 
Scandinavia as a rustic, nature-lover's paradise. 

To promote her hand-printed patterns, Ratia 
decided to use the fabrics to make dresses created by a 
Printex designer named Maija Isola. She called the 
dresses "Marimekko": Mari is a Finnish girl's name, 
and mekko is a Finnish word meaning country 
woman's dress. The first few years of the business were 
lean: the factory had no sewing rooms until 1955, and 
all work prior to that date was carried out by sewers 
working in their own homes in cooperative fashion 
(cooperatives are another Finnish tradition). A simple 
typewriter was used to create the rustic company logo. 
Despite slow sales at first, Ratia was convinced that the 
fabrics would ultimately take hold. 

Like Giuliana BENETTON, Ratia chose bold colors 
to lift people's spirits after the drab grayness of the 
war years. And like Coco CHANEL, she dropped the 
ultra feminine, "hourglass," housewife style of dress 
that women were wearing at the time in favor of a 
comfortable, unisex look that reflected Finnish cul- 



109 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



ture (the Finnish language, for example, uses only the 
pronoun ban to mean both he and she). In 1960, 
Ratia's company — now called Marimekko — got a 
huge break when American First Lady Jacqueline 
Kennedy ONASSIS bought several of the hand-printed 
dresses in Cape Cod. 

The 1960s were the most successful years in 
Marimekko history. Ratia opened up new shops and 
held fashion shows throughout Europe. The com- 
pany began producing knitwear and hand-woven 
woolens. Ratia treated her staff like one big family, 
letting those employees who were willing to act as 
models for her advertisements. She made plans to 
implement her dream of creating a "Marimekko Vil- 
lage" in the Helsinki suburb of Porvoo that would 
provide housing and schools for all Marimekko 
employees; though the village never materialized, the 
eccentric Ratia continued to reward her employees by 
giving them hugs and vitamin pills. 

When Ratia retired from the company in 1974, 
Marimekko faltered from the loss of its founder and 
inspiration. Today, businesswoman Kirsti Paakanen, 
who works diligently at her desk while a wall-size 
portrait of Marimekko's founder watches over her 
shoulder, runs the company. 

Further Reading 

Beer, Eileene Harrison. Scandinavian Design: Objects of a 
Life Style. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1975. 

The Fashion Guide. New York: Fashion Guide Interna- 
tional, 1989. 

Lambert, Eleanor. World of Fashion: People, Places, 
Resources. New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1976. 



A WOLFE, ELSIE DE (Ella Anderson 
^ de Wolfe) 

(1865—1950) American interior decorator 

"I opened the doors of the American house," 
exclaimed Elsie de Wolfe, "and the windows, and let 
in the air and the sunshine." The first American 
woman professional interior decorator, de Wolfe 
encouraged millions of American home owners, espe- 
cially modern women, to junk their overstuffed, 
heavy Victorian furniture and impractical knick- 



knacks, tear down the cloak-like drapes covering 
their windows, and let in the new century. De Wolfe 
linked her new, airy interiors to the emancipated 
female, making interior design an acceptable profes- 
sion for independent-minded career women. 

Elsie de Wolfe was born on December 20, 1865, 
in New York City to Stephen de Wolfe, a physician, 
and Georgina Copeland. Her parents were both raised 
in Canada; her father, a Nova Scotian, graduated from 
the University of Pennsylvania. Her mother had been 
born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Elsie de Wolfe went to 
private schools in New York until she turned 14, at 
which time her parents sent her to Scotland, where Dr. 
Archibald Charteris tutored her. The extremely well 
connected Charteris, her mother's cousin, introduced 
Elsie to Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and other mem- 
bers of London's elite society (as an adult, she would 
reject the cultural trappings of Victorian society, 
named after the British crown). As a teenager, de 
Wolfe learned how to socialize with the upper crust, 
whose ranks would later form her primary customers. 

Used to being "on stage" while living in London, 
when de Wolfe returned to New York in 1884, she 
began acting in amateur theater productions. In 1890, 
after her father's death left her with little money, de 
Wolfe began acting professionally. Her stage career 
lasted 14 years; she won modest acclaim for her efforts, 
but theater critics tended to celebrate her lavish cos- 
tumes more frequently then her acting abilities. 

De Wolfe established a lifelong romantic relation- 
ship with Elisabeth (Bessie) Marbury, a literary and 
theatrical agent. The two women lived on Irving 
Place in New York City, where de Wolfe began exper- 
imenting with her interior decorating ideas, with 
Marbury's encouragement. Victorian frippery and 
frumpery soon made its way to the antique stores. 

De Wolfe adopted two seemingly opposing strate- 
gies in her designs: on the one hand, she tore down the 
dark, oppressive Victorian trappings of the past 
(Queen Victoria allegedly wore black for decades after 
the death of her husband and cousin, Prince Albert, in 
1861). Under de Wolfe's hand, windows lost their 
heavy draperies, allowing light and air to illuminate 
and revitalize rooms. The use of mirrors heightened 
the sense of space and air. Even while she used mod- 



110 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



ern, breezy colors and lighter-weight fabrics, however, 
she also reached farther back into history to resurrect 
classical and colonial styles, especially in furniture. Her 
favorite antique, for example, was her Madame de 
POMPADOUR footstool. Her tastes, therefore, were 
eclectic; her 18th-century antiques and light, flowery 
fabrics became her signature look. 

De Wolfe's rebuff of Victorian interiors was not 
unique. Architect and designer Ogden Codman 
influenced her style, and the two collaborated on 
several homes. De Wolfe's contribution lay in her 
ability to popularize the look through her elite soci- 
ety connections, and through her 1913 book, The 
House in Good Taste. Unlike Codman, de Wolfe 
understood that younger, emancipated women were 
ready to control every aspect of the home — women's 
traditional sphere — and that artistically inclined 
women were eager to enter the profession of interior 
design and decoration. 

De Wolfe's efforts at Marbury's Irving Place home 
caught the attention of New York's fashionable soci- 
ety, allowing de Wolfe herself to become a trendset- 
ter. In 1905, her first big break occurred when she 
decorated the Colony Club building, an exclusive 
women's club building designed by architect Stanford 
White. Following the success of that assignment, big- 
ger and better jobs came her way. Sometimes called 
the Age of Industrialists or, less flatteringly, the Age 
of Robber Barons, the marriage of capitalism with 
industrialization in the United States had created 
numerous fabulously wealthy families at the end of 
the 19th century, and de Wolfe became acquainted 
with nearly all of them. Anne Morgan, daughter of 
banker J. P. Morgan, Anne Vanderbilt, Henry Clay 
Frick (director of Andrew Carnegie's U.S. Steel Cor- 
poration), Mrs. J. Odgen Armour, of Chicago meat- 
packing fame, and lumber exploiter R. M. 
Weyerhaeuser of Minnesota all provided de Wolfe an 
outlet for her talents. 

Always drawn to the excitement of novelty, de 
Wolfe grabbed front-page headlines in a variety of 
ways during the first few decades of the 20th century. 
In 1908, she accompanied Wilbur Wright on some of 
the test flights of his new airplane. During World 
War I (1914-18), she lived in Paris and tended to 



wounded soldiers, for which she was awarded the 
French medal of honor, the Croix de Guerre. In 
1926, at the age of 60, she married Sir Charles 
Mendl, an attache of the British Embassy, thereby 
becoming Lady Mendl, while continuing to operate 
her decorating business in the United States and 
Europe (she and Marbury had bought and restored 
the Villa Trianon at Versailles in 1903). 

De Wolfe never completely lost her influence on 
the world of fashion. Toward the end of her life, in an 
eccentric move, she introduced the fashion of dying 
women's gray hair with a bluish tint. She died on July 
12, 1950, at the Villa Trianon. 

Further Reading 

Russell, Beverly. Women of Design: Contemporary American 

Interiors. New York: Rizzoli, 1992. 
Rybczynski, Witold. Home: A Short History of an Idea. New 

York: Penguin, 1987. 
Smith, Jane S. Elsie de Wolfe: A Life in High Style. New 

York: Atheneum, 1982. 
Wolfe, Elsie de. After All. New York: Arno Press, 1974. 



A ZHANG RUIFANG 

(1918- ) Chinese film actress 

Art and politics may never have clashed so dramati- 
cally as they did during the Chinese Cultural Revolu- 
tion (1966-76). Actress Zhang Ruifang stood smack 
in the middle of the quagmire. Zhang influenced the 
Chinese film industry both through her acting career 
and through the fine arts organizations to which she 
belonged. Her career and activism were deeply 
affected by the upheavals that occurred in Chinese 
politics, especially related to the arts. The victim of a 
government purge, Zhang spent two years in jail at 
the height of her popularity in China. Zhang Ruifang 
created several roles that earned her a reputation as 
one of China's most illustrious leading women. 

The Chinese Cultural Revolution commenced 
when Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) gave his 
support to the radical wing of the Chinese Commu- 
nist Party (CCP) over fears that Chinese society was 
becoming too bureaucratic, too similar to the 
U.S.S.R., and was losing its revolutionary spirit. The 



III 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



radicals accused many top party and government offi- 
cials of failing to follow Communist principles and 
consequently purged them from their positions. Stu- 
dents and other young people took to the streets in a 
semi-military organization called the Red Guards. All 
Chinese universities were closed from 1966 to 1970. 

Jiang Qing (1913?— 91), Chairman Mao's wife and a 
former unsuccessful actress, became one of the most 
powerful political figures during the Cultural Revolu- 
tion. She resuscitated the Beijing opera houses, but 
insisted that they instill Communist themes in their 
productions; Jiang used her powerful position in gov- 
ernment to take revenge on the filmmakers who had 
ignored her in Shanghai in the 1930s. Appointed 
deputy director of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, she 
replaced many works of art with revolutionary Maoist 
works. Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao (1917- ) , Wang 
Hongwen (1935P-92), and Yao Wenyuan (1931- ) 
formed the Gang of Four, a group of radicals responsi- 
ble for the purging of anti-Maoist expressions through- 
out Chinese culture, including film. When Mao 
Zedong died in 1976, Jiang Qing was arrested and sen- 
tenced to death with a two-year reprieve in 1981. Her 
sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. She 
hanged herself in May 1991. 

The Chinese film industry began in the 1920s in 
Shanghai. Before World War II (1939-45), most Chi- 
nese film houses showed American movies. After the 
Communist victory in 1949, filmmaking was brought 
under the control of the Ministry of Culture, and Hol- 
lywood films disappeared from the Chinese cinematic 
landscape, replaced by local movies and films made in 
the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Chinese-made 
films were expected to support the Communist gov- 
ernment and its policies. Many of the movies made in 
the 1950s and 1960s tended to be highly stylized, 
overly sentimental, dramatic, and stiff due to require- 
ments imposed by the government. 

Zhang Ruifang began her acting career while she 
was a student in Beijing in 1937, the year that Japan 
invaded mainland China. Zhang joined a student 
drama troupe, performing in Beijing and surrounding 
areas. The following year, she joined the Chinese 
Communist Party. Between 1947 and 1966, she 
starred in many feature films, including Along the 



Songhua River (1947). Chinese Communists viewed 
most films shown before the Communist victory in 
1949 as encouraging Western, "bourgeois" values. 
Zhang and other Communists who were also actors 
infiltrated a film studio in Changchun (northern 
China) to prevent anti-Communist films from being 
made. She described the difficulties of making films in 
northern China and clashes between Chinese Com- 
munists and the opposition Kuomintang, or KMT: 

We [the communist actors] prevented them from 
making anti-communist films, refusing scripts that 
were reactionary. It was very difficult to make 
Along the Songhua River as conditions and equip- 
ment were bad. We had to get spare parts from 
Beijing. It took six months to complete the movie. 
After it was made it premiered at a Shanghai cin- 
ema that had never shown Chinese films before. 
The people in Shanghai were curious about the 
Northeast provinces, because they'd been cut off 
from them since 1931. As the countryside was 
occupied by the communist forces and the cities 
by the K.M.T. [Kuomintang, the opponents of 
communism], the film was sent by air, the only 
possible route. As a result of that film, 

wrote Zhang, "I was denounced during the Cultural 
Revolution as a K.M.T. agent." 

In 1962, Zhang starred in her best-known film, Li 
Shuangshuang, the story of a model commune mem- 
ber, with some faults, and her husband, who is irri- 
tated by his wife's activism until he recognizes his own 
shortcomings and attempts a reconciliation. Li 
Shuangshuang included characters who acted in accor- 
dance with CCP policy, sacrificing their individual 
interests for the general good as defined by the CCP. 
However, like many other Chinese films of this era Li 
Shuangshuang was seen as refreshing because the 
female characters are not merely "helpmeets" to the 
leading man but strong, virtuous characters them- 
selves (if predictably mouthing the party line). Fur- 
thermore, the film delighted audiences with its comic 
dialogue between husband and wife. 

In 1967, the Gang of Four blacklisted Zhang and 
she was imprisoned for two years. She gradually made 
her way back into politics and the silver screen, how- 



112 



FASHION DESIGNERS AND TRENDSETTERS 



ever. In 1 973, she was elected deputy for Shanghai to 
the Fourth National Party Congress and was chosen to 
be a delegate to a friendship tour of Japan. In 1978, she 
was elected a member of the National Committee of 
the Fifth National Party Congress and made her first 
comeback film, The Roaring River (1978) . In 1980, she 
became the head of the Shanghai Drama Troupe and 
headed a delegation to the First Manila International 
Film Festival. In 1983, she was a delegate to the New 
Youth International Film Festival in India. In 1985, she 
was elected vice-chair of the Shanghai Branch of the 



Chinese Communist Party. Zhang starred in numerous 
other films, including Great River Flows On and On 
(1978) and Jingling Spring Water (1986). 

Further Reading 

Bartke, Wolfgang. Who's Who in the People's Republic of 
China, vol. 2. New York: K. G. Saur, 1991. 

Clark, Paul. Chinese Cinema: Culture and Politics Since 
1949. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. 

Uglow, Jennifer. The Continuum Dictionary of Women's 
Biography. New York: Continuum, 1989. 



113 



5 



Journalists, Diarists, 
and Historians 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



A BLY, NELLIE (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman) 
(c. 1864-1922) American journalist 

Born into a wealthy family on her mother's side, Nel- 
lie Bly, born Elizabeth Cochran, added an "e" to the 
end of her last name to make herself appear more 
aristocratic. Ironically, this young lady so concerned 
with her social status would one day descend into the 
hovels inhabited by the lowest of the lower classes to 
report on the abusive conditions in Pittsburgh's filth- 
iest factories and most dilapidated tenement houses. 
Bly wrote her reports to force middle and upper-class 
Americans to take notice of, and help reform, the 




Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, better known as Nellie 
Bly, was a reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, New 
YorkWorld, and New York Evening Journal. Her inves- 
tigative journalism led to reforms of U.S. mental 

asylums, jails, and sweatshops. In 1889-90 she 

became the first woman to circle the globe alone. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



deplorable working and housing conditions suffered 
by the poor. Bly not only reported, however: she 
checked herself into an insane asylum and worked as 
a sweatshop laborer to live the lives about which she 
reported. In her most fantastic stunt, she imitated 
Jules Verne's fictional journey described in Around the 
World in Eighty Days; only Bly made it in 72. 

Bly was born probably on May 5, 1864, in 
Cochran Mills, Pennsylvania, to Michael and Mary 
Jane Cochran. Her father was a self-made industrialist 
and judge, and her mother had come from a wealthy 
Pittsburgh family. Both partners had had previous 
marriages, and Bly spent her childhood seeking to 
catch up with and outwit her older brothers. Educated 
at home by her father until his death in 1870, Bly later 
attended Indiana Normal School in Pennsylvania for 
teacher training. When her funding to attend the 
school petered out after only one year, Bly and the rest 
of her family relocated to Pittsburgh, to be closer to 
Mary Jane Cochran's family. At age 16, Bly was deter- 
mined to become self-sufficient, but she soon discov- 
ered that single women could expect little support in 
any other career but domestic service or teaching. 
Never a great student, Bly had nevertheless developed 
an early and engaging penchant for writing. 

Bly's career in journalism began when she responded 
to an editorial in the Pittsburgh Dispatch. The letter 
complained that there were too many women working 
in factories and in businesses. Incensed, Bly's reply to 
the piece suggested that men could expect women to 
enter the workplace in droves out of economic neces- 
sity. She cited her own experiences as an orphan who 
needed to work to earn a living for herself and her 
dependents. Bly's letter, written anonymously, so 
impressed the paper's editor, George Madden, that he 
asked the writer to make herself known. She did, and 
she accepted a job offer from the paper shortly after. 
She wrote reports under the name "Nellie Bly," a mis- 
spelling of the popular Stephen Foster song Nelly Bly. 

Bly initially offered Pittsburgh Dispatch readers 
critical coverage of the city's working class, but when 
local businesses threatened to yank their advertise- 
ments from the paper, editors reassigned Bly to cover 
the society section. Bly soon became fed up with the 
beat and, on the day of her departure, left a note on 



116 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



her boss's desk. "I'm off for New York," she pro- 
claimed. "Look out for me. BLY." 

After months of job searching and freelancing in 
New York, Bly accepted a curious assignment that she 
and the editor of the New York World cooked up 
together: feign madness and gain admission to an 
insane asylum and then file a series of reports. Her sto- 
ries, appearing in October 1887 after a 10-day sojourn 
in the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's (later 
Roosevelt) Island, uncovered vermin-infested food, 
physical and mental abuse of patients, and patients 
who were clearly not mentally disturbed but who had 
apparently been committed to the institution by cold- 
hearted relatives. The expose launched both Bly's 
career as a detective reporter and, more significantly, 
the sub-profession of investigative journalism. Above 
all, Bly's willingness and success in performing this 
journalistic stunt encouraged other women to join the 
profession of journalism. From 1887 to 1889, Bly vis- 
ited New York's unsafe factories, employment agen- 
cies, domestic servants' quarters, and "baby dealers" 
operating as adoption agencies. Many readers were 
shocked to find that within the borders of their coun- 
try, the most highly respected and self-righteous 
democracy in the world, existed the most heinous cor- 
ruption imaginable. Bly's reporting created awareness 
and ultimately led to reforms. 

In November 1889, Bly embarked on a feat that 
catapulted her to national celebrity. The French 
writer Jules Verne (1828-1904) had written a popu- 
lar adventure novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, 
about an imaginary balloon flight, in 1873. Bly and 
the New York World schemed to send Bly on an 
around-the-world trip with descriptions of her 
adventures to be published in the paper. The World 
promoted the tour by holding a contest to see which 
of its readers could most accurately guess how many 
days it would take Miss Bly to finish her journey. 
During the 72 days she spent away, the Bly cyclone 
touched down briefly in Europe, the Middle East, 
Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan before returning 
to New York on January 25, 1890. 

After a dispute with the New York World, Bly quit 
her job at the paper in 1890. She tried her hand at 
fiction writing but was disappointed in the results. In 



1895, she married a wealthy New York businessman, 
Robert Livingston Seaman, a man 40 years her sen- 
ior. When her husband died in 1904, Bly took over 
his iron manufacturing business with an eye toward 
social welfare: she offered her workers full health-care 
benefits and a recreational facility. She also made and 
had patented a new type of steel barrel. Her business 
acumen, however, left something to be desired, and 
the manufactory declared bankruptcy. 

By 1919, Bly again pounded the pavement as a 
reporter for New York's Evening Journal. Her cover- 
age of the Jess Willard-Jack Dempsey championship 
boxing match in 1919 caught a few eyes, but, prima- 
rily, she authored an advice column where her 
reformist visions found a voice. Reporter Arthur Bris- 
bane of the Evening Journal remarked on her death 
from pneumonia on January 27, 1922, that the 
nation had lost its finest reporter. 

Further Reading 

Belford, Barbara. Brilliant Bylines: A Biographical Anthology 

of Notable Newspaper Women in America. New York: 

Columbia University Press, 1986. 
Bly, Nellie. Nellie Bly's Book: Around the World in 72 Days, 

ed. Ira Peck. Brookfield, Conn.: Twenty-First Century 

Books, 1998. 
Kroeger, Brooke. Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist. 

New York: Times Books, 1994. 
Rittenhouse, Mignon. The Amazing Nellie Bly. New York: 

Dutton, 1956. 



A BOURKE-WHITE, MARGARET 

(1904-1971) American photojournalist 

"Work is a religion to me," philosophized Margaret 
Bourke- White, "the only religion you can count on, a 
trusted lifelong friend who never deserts you." Bourke- 
White's long, exciting career as a photojournalist for the 
popular national magazines Life Magazine and Fortune 
took her to all corners of the world, though she retained 
an interest in American architecture and industry. Her 
photograph of Montana's Fort Peck Dam made the 
cover of the premiere issue of Life in 1936. After her 
experiences photographing southern sharecroppers 
during the Great Depression (1929-41), however, her 



117 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



work reflected a new care and concern for the people 
that she photographed. During the later part of her 
career, she created lasting images of world leaders such 
as Gandhi (1869-1948), Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), 
and Pope Pius XI (1857-1939). 

Photojournalism is the reportage of a news event 
primarily through photographs, rather than 
through the written word. In the United States, 
photos taken by Mathew Brady (1823-96) and his 
team of photographers to document the Civil War 
(1861-65) were among the first attempts to record 
news with images. Like journalism, photojournal- 
ism was considered too dangerous an occupation 
for women. Margaret Bourke-White, like reporter 
Oriana FALLACI in Italy, broke open the field for 
younger women. 

The daughter of Joseph Edward White, an ama- 
teur photographer, engineer, and inventor for a print- 
ing press manufacturer, and Minnie Bourke, a 
teacher of the blind, Margaret was born on June 14, 
1904, in New York City. She began taking pictures as 
a means of paying for her college education. Bourke- 
White cast her learning net widely, studying art, sci- 
ence, and technology at the University of Michigan, 
Rutgers, Columbia University, Purdue, and Case 
Western Reserve before graduating from Cornell 
with a degree in biology in 1927. In 1924, she had 
married an engineering student, Everett Chapman, 
but the couple separated in 1927. Margaret moved in 
with her mother, who was living in Cleveland at the 
time, and when she obtained her divorce, she incor- 
porated her mother's maiden name by changing her 
name to Margaret Bourke-White. 

In Cleveland, she began working as a commercial 
photographer, specializing in industrial photography. 
Bourke-White had accompanied her father on trips 
to factories, where he supervised the installation of 
rotary presses. Industrial photography captivated 
Bourke-White, who saw beauty in machinery. Like 
many Americans in the 1920s — intellectuals, artists, 
and mechanics — she obsessed over new machines, 
and the technology that went in to building them. 
Bourke-White went on to develop what biographer 
Theodore M. Brown called the Machine Aesthetic, a 
new way of portraying machines as objects of art. 



She spent the next two years photographing Cleve- 
land's steel mills. Her work caught the eye of pub- 
lisher Henry Luce, and he invited her to join the staff 
of his new business magazine, Fortune. She became 
Fortune's first photographer and editor. During the 
early 1930s, she published photos in Fortune, the New 
York Fimes Magazine, and Vanity Fair. Her images of 
the Soviet Union led to the publication of her first 
book, Eyes on Russia (1931), in which she focused her 
thoughts and her camera on Russia's growing indus- 
tries. From 1936 to 1957, she produced thousands of 
images in the pages of Life Magazine, working with 
other renowned photographers such as Alfred Eisen- 
staedt, Thomas D. McAvoy, and Peter Stackpole. As a 
photographer with Life, Bourke-White documented 
people and places all over the world, photographing 
international newsmakers. 

In 1937, Bourke-White collaborated with south- 
ern novelist Erskine Caldwell to produce You Have 
Seen Their Faces, a documentary of southern farmers 
during the Great Depression (unlike Dorothea 
LANGE, however, Bourke-White did not work for the 
Farm Securities Administration). Margaret Bourke- 
White and Caldwell married in 1939 but divorced 
three years later. Their partnership produced two 
more books, North of the Danube (1939) and Say, Ls 
This the U.S.A.? {\H\). 

During World War II (1939-45), Bourke-White 
became the first woman photographer accredited 
with the U.S. Air Force, and the only photojournalist 
in Moscow during the German bombing of the city. 
She took perhaps her best-known photographs of the 
liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Buchen- 
wald in 1945. After the war, Bourke-White used her 
camera to imprint the image of India's liberator 
Mahatma Gandhi hours before he was assassinated, 
as well as the labor strife in the diamond mines of 
South Africa, upon the minds of her viewers. In 
1952, as a United Nations correspondent during the 
Korean War (1950-53), she photographed the con- 
flict from the Korean citizens' perspective, rather 
than the viewpoint of the American soldier. 

Bourke-White experienced her share of reproach 
during her adventurous career. Critics accused her of 
perpetuating stereotypes by creating dramatic shots 



118 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



instead of capturing events as they actually hap- 
pened. She and Caldwell defended themselves 
against the charge that they made up the captions to 
their photos of sharecroppers in You Have Seen Their 
Faces, rather than allowing the victims of the 
Depression speak for themselves. During the "red" 
scare of the 1950s, the FBI believed Bourke- White 
to be a Communist sympathizer, monitoring her 
activities and searching her luggage. 

Bourke- White, however, won many more kudos 
than criticism, including the American Woman of 
Achievement Citation from the Boston Chamber of 
Commerce (1957), the Achievement Award from 
U.S. Camera Magazine (1963), and the Honor Roll 
Award from the American Society of Magazine Pho- 
tographers (1964). Ever the photojournalist, as 
Bourke- White battled Parkinson's disease for the last 
19 years of her life, she had her colleague Alfred 
Eisenstaedt photograph her experimental brain sur- 
gery and recovery. The 1989 film Double Exposure 
recounts her experiences with the disease. She died 
on August 27, 1971, in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Further Reading 

Goldberg, Vicki. Margaret Bourke-White: A Biography. New 
York: Harper & Row, 1986. 

Siegel, Barbara. An Eye on the World: Margaret Bourke- 
White. New York: F. Warne, 1980. Young Adult. 

Silverman, Johnathan. For the World to See: The Life of 
garet Bourke-White. New York: Viking Press, 1983. 



A COMNENA,ANNA 

(1083-1148) Byzantine princess 
and historian 

A princess with lofty but thwarted ambitions, Anna 
Comnena wrote a history of her father Alexius I 
Comnenus (r. 1081—1 118) and his Byzantine Empire 
called the Alexiad. Comnena's high position at court 
allowed her to access key information that would 
otherwise have gone unnoticed. The princess master- 
fully synthesized vast amounts of complex detail in a 
lively and engaging narrative history. Throughout the 
Alexiad, readers are treated to the glories and short- 
comings of the Byzantine Empire and its culture. 



The Byzantine Empire (395-1453) consisted of the 
eastern half of the Roman Empire, including eastern 
Europe, parts of southern Europe, northern Africa, and 
the Middle East. It survived for one thousand years 
after the fall of Rome in the 400s. The eastern realm 
differed from Rome in its Grecian and Middle Eastern 
influences. Constantinople (now Istanbul), the Byzan- 
tine counterpart to Rome, was more commercialized 
and claimed a greater degree of wealth. Byzantine 
emperors considered themselves the rightful heirs of 
Rome, and they harbored dreams of subduing the "bar- 
barian" populations to the west and creating a Byzan- 
tine lake out of the Mediterranean Sea. Their ambitions 
went unrealized, however, as the Byzantine Empire 
faced threats from its northern and eastern enemies, 
including the Normans and the Seljuk Turks. 

When Comnena's father, Alexius I, ascended the 
Byzantine throne, he vowed to conquer the Seljuk 
Turks of Asia Minor who had defeated the Empire in 
1071 and gained control of Jerusalem. He turned to 
Europe, especially the Roman church and its leader, 
Pope Urban II, for aid. Urban II gathered a Christian 
army in 1095 and over the next two years the soldiers 
drilled in Constantinople and its environs to prepare 
for the march across Asia Minor. They descended into 
Jerusalem on July 15, 1099, where the First Crusaders 
slaughtered the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. 

Anna Comnena, heir to the throne as the daugh- 
ter of Alexius I and Irene Ducas, received a thorough 
education in the Bible and in the Roman and Greek 
classics. She also studied medicine and later wrote a 
treatise on gout, a painful disease of the joints. At the 
age of 14, Constantine Ducas, son of Michael VII 
(reigned 1071-78) and cousin in her mother's family, 
asked her to be his bride. When Ducas died unex- 
pectedly later that year, she married Nicephorus 
Bryennius, a soldier who had participated in the First 
Crusade. In 1088, Comnena's parents had given 
birth to a son, John, who, as the only male heir of 
Alexius I, was favored to ascend the throne. Com- 
nena never got over this cruel turn of fate, and she 
ruthlessly conspired with her mother to thwart her 
younger brother's fortune. 

When Alexius I died in 1118, John II, as he was 
then known, donned the royal crown, and Comnena's 



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JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



hopes were dashed. She tried unsuccessfully to depose 
him, even plotting his murder. Nicephorus Bryen- 
nius's unwillingness to be party to her scheme secured 
its failure and uncovered the attempt. Comnena 
appeared prostrate before her brother, whose 
clemency spared her life, though John II forced her to 
rescind her inheritance. Later, the emperor restored 
her fortune. When Bryennius died in 1137, Com- 
nena entered a convent. About her husband, Com- 
nena later wrote, "nature had mistaken the sexes for 
he ought to have been born a woman." Comnena 
spent the remainder of her life working on the Alex- 
iad. The humble preface to the work tells readers that 
her purpose in writing was to save the past from obliv- 
ion, and that it is "God above" who has given her the 
ability to write her tome. 

And a tome, indeed, it is. Fifteen books cover the 
period 1067 to 1118, including the 12 years prior to 
her father's reign. Comnena plundered the state 
archives to uncover diplomatic correspondences and 
imperial decrees to write her history. The Alexiad is 
considered by some to be the earliest extant example 
of the literary renaissance that soon would nurture 
such writers as Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), who 
composed a history of sorts in his Divine Comedy, 
written in 1308, Francesco Petrarch (1304-74), and 
Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75). 

The Alexiad modeled its heroes on such Greek fig- 
ures as the mythological warrior Achilles and the fighter 
Heracles, and her copious references to the Greek poet 
Homer (9th? century B.C.E.), the philosophers Plato 
(428P-348? B.C.E.), and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.), 
and the playwright Euripides (480-406? B.C.E.) all 
reflect Comnena's classical education. She also betrays 
the Greek love and admiration of physical beauty and 
her prejudices against all non-Greeks, or barbarians, 
whom she considered to be uneducated and unrefined. 
The Alexiad also reveals the shortcomings of Byzantine 
culture, including its violent tendencies and self- 
destructive attitudes toward religious heretics. 

The Alexiadis not flawless. Comnena's admiration 
for her father supplants any objectivity toward her 
subject, and there are chronological contradictions. 
Nonetheless, her work is praised as the seminal his- 
tory of her time. 



Further Reading 

Barrett, Tracy. Anna of Byzantium. New York: Delacorte 
Press, 1999. 

Buckler, Georgina Grenfell. Anna Comnena: A Study. Lon- 
don: Oxford University Press, 1968. 

Dalven, Rae. Anna Comnena. New York: Twayne Publish- 
ers, 1972. 



A DAVIES, ARABELLA JENKINSON 

(1753-1787) English diarist 

Arabella Jenkinson was born in Hoxton, a district of 
London, to Richard and Eleanor Deane Jenkinson. 
She began keeping a diary at the age of 14. In her 
diary, she tells us that when she turned nine, she 
committed a sin that caused her "spiritual distress" 
(she did not reveal what offense she had committed). 
Following her ninth year, Arabella Jenkinson strug- 
gled to live a pious, or devoted and conscientiously 
religious, life. Quite an undertaking for a nine-year- 
old girl! Even more so, considering that Jenkinson's 
character was, as she put it, "naturally lively." 

What was considered "lively" in 18th-century 
England was quite different from our interpretation 
today. Most people in this time period believed that 
there were two parts to human life: the earthly life, 
lived here and now, and the eternal life after death. 
Since earthly life was seen as a preparation for eternal 
life, activities that we might consider entertaining 
and fun today were considered to be of little value to 
the religious then. Arabella seemed to enjoy both her 
earthly and her spiritual life. 

She loved to read novels, a new type of literature in 
the 18th century, and she enjoyed satires; neither of 
which would be religious in nature. A typical 18th-cen- 
tury novel involved a female heroine who was torn 
between two suitors: a roguish but dashing young man 
who represented immorality, and a knight in shining 
armor who represented goodness. Happy endings usu- 
ally resulted when the knight saved the heroine by 
sweeping her away into a safe marriage. Novels were 
meant to entertain readers, not reinforce their spiritual 
and religious virtues (although many did offer a moral). 

Religious people may have considered satires, Ara- 
bella Jenkinson's other pastime, to be even more sus- 



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JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



picious. Satires, such as the play Rape of the Lock writ- 
ten by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) a few decades 
prior to Arabella's birth, poked fun at human vice or 
folly by using wit and irony. Like novels, most satires 
were not meant to reflect religious or spiritual morals. 

Besides enjoying novels and satires, Arabella Jenk- 
inson loved to dress up in fine clothes, and walk 
about the streets of London, displaying her finery. 
This, too, was considered to be an earthly activity 
that took time away from religious contemplation. 

At the age of 21, Arabella Jenkinson married 
Edward Davies, a widower with four children. 
Edward helped his wife's efforts to pursue a more reli- 
gious life, as he was a preacher. Soon, Arabella 
became pregnant; for the rest of her short life, she 
was constantly either pregnant or nursing her chil- 
dren, and caring for her stepchildren. Her diary and 
letters, both published in 1786, shortly before her 
death, reveal her desires for a happy family; she 
wanted to be "a friend to [her] children." It saddened 
her greatly to watch her two children die young. 
Before cures for childhood illnesses became available 
in the early 20th century, many parents knew the 
heart-wrenching experience of helplessly watching 
their own children die. In Arabella Davies's last diary 
entry, written on her birthday in 1787, she prays, 
"Bless the dear unborn." Davies died giving birth to 
her last child four days later. 

Although dying from childbirth is not a com- 
pletely unheard-of experience in our own time, most 
parents now do not assume that having a child will 
result in losing the mother's life. For women of the 
18th century, however, death at childbirth was a real 
fear. Complications at childbirth, such as loss of 
blood, could not be rectified, as midwives had no 
knowledge or means of blood transfusions. Condi- 
tions under which women birthed babies were not 
sterile, and infections frequently killed mothers. At 
the same time, if a woman married, childbirth was 
virtually inevitable, as there was little birth control 
available and what was available was considered taboo 
or sinful. Birth control devices, such as condoms, 
were linked with prostitution and, therefore, with 
immorality and sin. When Arabella Jenkinson mar- 
ried, she knew that her life was literally in danger. And 



yet, as women were economically dependent upon 
men, most felt that they had little choice but to marry. 
Infant mortality was part of the everyday life of par- 
ents of young children born before the 20th century. It 
is fair to say, however, that death in general was much 
more part of everyday life then than it is now. In the 
20th century, modern medicine began to prolong the 
lives of people, and to make long life generally health- 
ier. In living with the fear of childbirth, and in living 
with death, 18th-century women such as Arabella 
Davies experienced life quite differently from the way 
that most people live today. 

Further Reading 

Davies, Arabella. The Diary of Mrs. Arabella Davies, late 
wife of the Rev. E. Davies. London: sold by Mr. Buck- 
land, 1788. 

. Letter fom a parent to her children. London: sold 

by Mr. Buckland, 1788. 

A EGERIA 

(Fifth century C.E.' 
and diarist 



Italian traveler 



Egeria, a diarist who wrote sometime in the fifth cen- 
tury, may or may not have expected that what she 
recorded in her diary would be useful someday. But 
in 1884, an Italian archaeologist named G. F. 
Gamurrini found Egeria's journal in the library of the 
Brotherhood of Mary, a Catholic monastery, in 
Arezzo, Italy. He believed that what he found in the 
diary would be important to scholars of history, so he 
had the diary translated into other languages. 

Egeria's diary was written during her seven-year pil- 
grimage through Egypt, Palestine, and Syria (located 
in Africa and the Middle East). Most of the content of 
her diary related information about the lands through 
which she traveled and, more important, about the 
religious ceremonies and rituals performed by the 
Christian church in her time. She also wrote about the 
status of women and the roles that women played 
within the different churches she visited. 

Given its age (the diary is approximately 1,500 
years old), Egeria's work is in remarkably good shape. 
However, not all of the diary survived; the beginning 



121 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



and end of it have not been found, and even part of 
the middle is lost. The parts of the diary that we do 
have do not give us very much information about the 
woman who wrote it. In fact, scholars are even uncer- 
tain exactly when Egeria lived, and when she wrote 
her diary. Gamurrini dated the diary around 380; 
more recently, however, linguists date it somewhere 
between 404 and 417. 

Historians who have studied Egeria's diary have 
made several assumptions about the author based 
upon the content of her work. This process of conjec- 
ture is not foolproof, but it is the best that historians 
can do until more information may come to light. 
From other sources, such as ecclesiastical documents 
and histories, we know that travel in the fifth century 
was only possible for those who had money. It is 
likely, then, that Egeria came from a wealthy family, 
which in turn meant that her family had high social 
status. Historians also make this conjecture based 
upon the diary itself; Egeria described the deference 
with which she was received, and she did not ques- 
tion it. We can also assume that Egeria was well edu- 
cated for a woman of her time; obviously she was 
literate and she was well versed in the scriptures of 
the Christian church, particularly the Bible. 

Egeria seems to have written her diary to other 
women of the Christian church, who lived together 
as a community within the church and according to 
church rules; such women were known as canonesses. 
These women took care of the rituals of the church, 
for example, overseeing sacraments such as baptisms 
and funerals. 

Because of Egeria's diary, historians of the Christ- 
ian church know that as early as the 5 th century, 
Christians were in the practice of reading the Hebrew 
Bible, or Old Testament, as part of the Christian 
Bible, or New Testament. In her diary, Egeria referred 
to Hebrew figures, such as Rachel and Jacob, as 
"saints." This is unusual, because Hebrews do not use 
the word saint in the Hebrew Bible; however, many 
Christians view the Hebrew Bible as simply part of 
the Christian Bible. 

From Egeria's diary we get a sense of the church 
practices of her day. The length of the church services 
and the rigors practiced are excessive compared to 



more recent times. For example, Egeria reported 
weeklong fasts. "But," she wrote, "one who cannot 
do this fasts two consecutive days during Lent: those 
who cannot do that, eat each evening. No one 
demands that anyone do anything, but all do as they 
can. No one is praised who does more, nor is the one 
who does less blamed." Diaries and other writings of 
early Christians enabled the church to become famil- 
iar with, and therefore more united within, their reli- 
gious faith community, regardless of the distances 
separating them. 

Because Egeria's diary was not edited by anyone 
else, there is no record of the circumstances under 
which she died, or even whether she ever returned 
from her journey. Thanks to Egeria's diary, however, 
we know that at least some early Christian women 
were encouraged to read and write and that the 
Christian church offered women an "out" if they did 
not wish to marry and have children. In a time in 
which pregnancy was fairly dangerous and threatened 
women's lives, becoming a canoness may have 
seemed an attractive alternative to many. 

Further Reading 

Biannarelli, Elena. Diary of a Pilgrimage. New York: New- 
man Press, 1970. 

Gingras, George, ed. Egeria, Diary of a Pilgrimage. New 
York: Newman Press, 1970. 

Penrose, Mary. Roots Deep and Strong: Great Men and 
Women of the Church. New York/Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist 
Press, 1995. 

Wilkinson, John, ed. Egeria's Travels. London: S.P.C.K., 
1971. 



A FALLACI, ORJANA 

(1930-2006) Italian journalist 

Oriana Fallaci's achievements as a news reporter, 
investigative journalist, and interviewer have earned 
her many awards and also opened up the field of 
journalism for other women. Fallaci chose a career in 
journalism while still a teenager, despite the fact that 
no Italian publication had ever hired a female 
reporter. She is best known for her work as a war cor- 
respondent in Vietnam, the Middle East, and South 



122 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



America. In her native Italy, she won the St. Vincent 
Prize for Journalism twice, based upon her ability to 
arrange interviews with previously inaccessible politi- 
cal figures, such as the Ayatollah Khomeini. 

Born on June 29, 1930, in Florence, Fallaci grew 
up during heart-wrenching times in Italy, and 
indeed, throughout Europe. Fascist rulers dominated 
the governments of Italy, Germany, and Spain. Under 
a fascist regime, a dictatorial ruler often restricts peo- 
ple's freedoms, including freedom of press, speech, 
and mobility. Oriana Fallaci's father, Edoardo Fallaci, 
a cabinetmaker, raised his daughter to share his 
obsession with freedom from fascist rule. 

When Great Britain and France declared war 
against Germany in 1941, Italy quickly entered the 
war in defense of its fellow fascist nation, Germany. 
However, in 1943, after Italy had lost its North 
African Empire, Mussolini's party deposed him. Ger- 
man paratroopers rescued him and established a pup- 
pet government in northern Italy. Resistance to 
German occupation quickly formed. Under the 
name "Emilia," Oriana Fallaci says she carried mes- 
sages, weapons, and copies of the underground news- 
paper of the Resistance, Non Mollare (Stand Fast), 
throughout Florence on her bicycle. Few suspected a 
young girl in pigtails was a soldier. When she was dis- 
charged from the Freedom Volunteer Corps after the 
war, she received 14,570 lire in pay. She spent the 
money on shoes for her family. 

Oriana's mother, Tosca, had received only an ele- 
mentary school education, but she read and educated 
herself as much as she could. After listening to her 
husband Edoardo's views on democracy, Tosca 
became convinced that women's lives would not 
change much under democracy. Women would, she 
claimed, still be slaves to the family and to society. 
Thus she raised her four daughters to do well in 
school and to pursue careers. 

As a little girl, Fallaci dreamed of becoming a 
writer. Her mother, trying to dissuade her from fol- 
lowing that career track, had her read an American 
novel by Jack London called Martin Eden. The hero 
of the book works as a writer but nearly starves in the 
process, unable to find work. Unfortunately for 
Tosca, Oriana's passion intensified; she told her 



mother that she wanted to become a "Jacqueline 
London." Her journalist uncle, Bruno, who cau- 
tiously encouraged his niece in her career choice, told 
Oriana that she must first experience life before she 
could become a writer. Her role in the Resistance ful- 
filled that requirement, and when "World War II 
ended in 1945, Oriana was on her way. 

At age 16, she took a job at the local Florentine 
Christian Democrat daily newspaper called LI Mat- 
tino dellltalia Centrale. (She had actually set her 
sights higher, intending to get a job at a nationwide 
journal called La Nazione, but she mistook the // 
Mattino office for that of La Nazione) After a six-year 
stint in Florence, her career steadily progressed: she 
landed a job with a national newspaper in Rome, was 
promoted as an international correspondent, and 
then came to New York City. 

Living in New York allowed Fallaci to perfect 
what would become her journalistic specialty: the 
interview. She liked to interview celebrities, in order 
to discover how fame and fortune affected their per- 
sonalities. She interviewed world leaders, such as 
Golda MEIR and Henry Kissinger, as well as enter- 
tainers and filmmakers. 

Fallaci took advantage of technology to create suc- 
cessful interviews, especially with the tape recorder. 
Once, she declared that no one knew more about 
tape recorders than she did, except perhaps Richard 
Nixon, the U.S. president who resigned when dam- 
aging evidence was found on his tape recorder. Fallaci 
was among the first journalists to record interviews 
on tape. While the difference between taking notes 
by hand during an interview and using a tape 
recorder may seem slight, the impact of the new 
method cannot be overstated. 

Taping an interview enabled Fallaci to establish 
and hold eye contact with her subject — thus making 
the interview seem more personal and intimate — 
because she does not have to look down at her 
notepad. In addition, after the interview ended, Fal- 
laci could return to her office, hit the rewind button, 
and listen to the whole exchange again; she did not 
have to rely on memory to recall how the person's 
voice sounded (what kinds of emotions a raised voice 
indicated, for example). Fallaci also became convinced 



123 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



that her writing began to improve with the use of tape 
recorders. She began to perceive writing as speaking, 
and she crafted the written stories that were based on 
the interviews much more like actual person-to-per- 
son conversations than sterile reports. 

Most journalists try to write their news stories, or 
conduct interviews with newsmakers, in an objective 
manner. By this, they mean that they try not to let 
their own personalities, or personal biases, sway the 
report or interview. Fallaci thought that objectivity 
was meaningless, because it was impossible to keep 
one's personality out of one's work. Instead, she pre- 
ferred to pursue honesty in her work. To get at the 
truth about the person she interviewed, Fallaci could 
be extremely aggressive. This was also true when 
other journalists interviewed her. Journalist Robert 
Scheer, for example, described interviewing Fallaci as 
an experience similar to "throwing two Bronx alley 
cats into a gunny sack and letting them have at it." 

Oriana Fallaci became a model for the increasing 
numbers of women who entered the journalism pro- 
fession in the 1970s and beyond. Once seen as a 
tough job that only men were capable of performing, 
women journalists, such as Oriana Fallaci, changed 
that perception. English translations of Fallaci's 
books include Letter to a Child (1976), A Man 
(1980), and Inshallah (1992). 

Further Reading 

Arico, Santo. Oriana Fallaci: The Woman and the Myth. 
Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998. 

Fallaci, Oriana. Interview with History. New York: Live- 
right, 1976. 

Gatt-Rutter, John. Oriana Fallaci: The Rhetoric of Freedom. 
Washington, D.C.: Berg, 1996. 



& FRANK, ANNE 

(1929-1945) German/Dutch/Jewish diarist 

Anne Frank knew and felt the power of her written 
words that would render her immortal after her death 
at age 1 5 in a Nazi concentration camp. "I want to go 
on living even after my death!" she exclaimed in her 
diary in 1944; and so she did. Anne Frank's diary, 
translated into 30 languages and adapted for screen 



and stage, catapulted its writer to worldwide fame 
when it was first published in 1947. The diary 
records the emotional and intellectual life of an ado- 
lescent girl living in peril and victimized by the hor- 
rific events of the times in which she lived. Frank's 
diary bears witness to the circumstances surrounding 
the Jewish people who tried — and in Frank's case, 
failed — to escape the terrors of a Nazi-controlled 
Europe. "Her diary endures, full-blooded, unselfpity- 
ing," wrote Simon Schama in 1000 Makers of the 
Twentieth Century, "a perpetual reminder that the 
enormity of the Nazi crime amounted not to the 
abstraction of 'genocide' but the murder of six mil- 
lion individuals." 

Frank's diary, like so much else in history that is of 
grave importance, is controversial. The diary has 
been interpreted as a symbol of a little girl's supreme 
faith in humankind's goodness, even in the face of 
contrary evidence. Commentators on the diary have 
frequently taken Anne's statement, "I still believe, in 
spite of everything, that people are truly good at 
heart," out of context. A few sentences later, in the 
same entry, she wrote, "I see the world being slowly 
transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching 
thunder that one day will destroy us, too, [and] I feel 
the suffering of millions." Literary critic Cynthia 
Ozick argues that those who make too much of 
Anne's optimistic spirit mask the hard-edged reality 
that Anne herself saw and understood to be true. She 
perceived more clearly than most what was going on 
around her, and more importantly, why. "We are 
Jews," she wrote in 1944, "in chains." 

Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, to Otto 
and Edith Hollander Frank, upper-middle-class Ger- 
man Jews living in Frankfurt, Germany. Otto Frank's 
family had lost their fortune in the poor economy of 
the 1920s, but he managed to establish himself in 
Frankfurt's business world as a banker. When Adolf 
Hitler (1889-1945) became chancellor of Germany 
in 1933, Nazi intentions soon became clear. The 
Civil Service Law (1933), for example, mandated the 
retirement or dismissal of all non-Aryan civil ser- 
vants. The Franks fled to Amsterdam, Netherlands, 
later that year where Otto Frank became the manag- 
ing director of a food company's warehouse in the 



124 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



Prinsengracht street. Anne Frank began attending a 
MONTESSORI school a few years later. 

The Franks could not escape Nazism, however, 
when the German army invaded the Netherlands in 
1940. Anti-Jewish policies in Holland quickly 
repeated what Otto Frank had tried to evade in Ger- 
many. Anne Frank had to leave the Montessori school 
and attend a Jewish school instead. Jews were required 
to affix the yellow star on their clothing. Deportation 
of Jews to concentration camps, especially Auschwitz, 
began in 1942. Otto and Edith Frank had prepared 
their two daughters for this eventuality by securing a 
hiding place in the warehouse where he worked. 

In July 1941, the Franks, along with the Van 
Daan family, moved into the hidden rear portion of 
the building at 263 Prinsengracht where there were 
two apartments. During the persecution of Catholics 
in 16th-century Calvinist Holland, several such hid- 
ing places had been built so that Catholics could 
worship without interference. Later, an elderly den- 
tist named Dr. Albert Dussel joined the families; now 
eight people shared the hiding place. 

As Frank's diary reveals, life for the outcasts began 
in the evenings, after the workday ended below, and 
ended when the warehouse opened the following day. 
During business hours, it was forbidden to flush the 
single toilet in the hidden apartments. Only absolute 
quiet would keep the families concealed. Several 
friends of the Franks provided food and other neces- 
sities on a daily basis. 

In July 1944, the Franks and Van Daans listened 
to radio reports that the Allied forces who had landed 
in Normandy, France, in June were reaching the 
Netherlands. The captives' spirits rose. Days later, 
however, a warehouse employee (it is assumed) 
betrayed them. All hope vanished as the Gestapo 
stormed the hidden apartments and arrested all eight 
inhabitants. Those who had supplied the families 
with food and had kept their secret were also arrested; 
some were sentenced to hard labor. 

The Franks were put on trains to the Dutch transi- 
tion camp Westerbork, and then to Auschwitz, the 
concentration camp in Poland, where Anne's mother 
died in 1944. Nazi officials relocated Anne and her sis- 
ter Margot, along with other prisoners — infested with 



lice and tormented by diarrhea and fever — to Bergen- 
Belsen, a concentration camp located near Celle, Ger- 
many, where they caught typhus and died in March 
1945, a month before the camp was liberated by the 
British. Of the eight who lived at Prinsengracht, only 
Otto Frank — sick and emaciated — survived when 
Russian troops liberated Auschwitz in 1945. 

After recovering in a German hospital, Otto Frank 
returned to Prinsengracht. There, his two friends Elli 
Vossen and Miep Gies gave him the diary that they had 
found on the floor of the hidden apartments. Otto 
Frank had the diary published as Het Achterhuis (the 
house behind) in 1 947, after he expurgated hateful pas- 
sages that Anne had written about her mother, and oth- 
ers about her awakening sexuality. 

Anne Frank's final diary entry communicates her 
increasing restlessness and hopelessness. She wanted 
to "turn [her] heart inside out, put the bad part on 
the outside and the good part in the inside." She was 
"trying to find a way to become what [she'd] like to 
be, and what [she] could be . . . if only there were no 
other people in the world." But for Anne, no way was 
to be found. An insightful, intelligent, and compli- 
cated girl whose life was cut short by human atrocity, 
Anne Frank resists all attempts at easy pigeonholing. 
However readers interpret her diary, it remains a tes- 
timony to the power of writing. 

Further Reading 

Frank, Anne, et. al. Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive 

Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1995. 
Gies, Miep. Anne Frank Remembered. New York: Simon & 

Schuster, 1987. 
Muller, Melissa. Anne Frank: The Biography. New York: 

Henry Holt, 1998. 
Ozick, Cynthia. "Who Owns Anne Frank?" New Yorker 

(Oct. 6, 1997): 76-87. 



A GELLHORN, MARTHA (Martha Ellis 
Gellhorn) 

(1908-1998) American journalist 
and writer 

One of the first women to work as a war correspon- 
dent, Martha Gellhorn combined gutsy reporting 



125 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 




Martha Gellhorn, American journalist, reported on 

20th-century wars from Spain in the 1 930s to 

Panama in the 1980s. 

Courtesy John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library. 



with a highly personal writing style that attracted six 
decades of intellectually oriented American readers in 
such magazines as the Atlantic Monthly and The New 
Statesman. In 1989, at the age of 81, Gellhorn again 
found her way to another war front, when the United 
States invaded the Central American nation of 
Panama. She had been invited to report on the 1992 
war in Bosnia, but, concerned that she was no longer 
as nimble as she used to be, she decided, for once, to 
stay home. Unfortunately, Gellhorn's accomplish- 
ments and exploits as a war correspondent — includ- 
ing her adventure as a stowaway on board a hospital 
ship where she observed the Normandy invasion of 
June 6, 1944 — are often overlooked in favor of her 
brief marriage to the celebrated writer Ernest Hem- 
ingway (1899-1961). 

To professional journalists, Gellhorn's combina- 
tion of objective reporting and personal writing style 



may seem inappropriate (see also Oriana FALLACl), 
but as a war correspondent she blends the two forms 
of writing to adequately represent the suffering of 
ordinary people on one hand and scrutinize the polit- 
ical upheavals that cause the wars on the other. Thus 
she is able to examine the horrors of combat, analyze 
the political background, and denounce the injustices 
inherent in all wars, in a personal manner. As a fic- 
tion writer, Gellhorn drops all objectivity and creates 
characters that grapple with the same issues she 
uncovered as a reporter. 

Born on November 8, 1908, to a St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, family steeped in a tradition of service and 
reform, Gellhorn believed her own contribution to 
improving society lay in her pen. Her maternal 
grandmother spoke out in favor of the eight-hour day 
for servants and organized a school for training 
domestics using scientific methodology. George Gell- 
horn, her father, was a medical doctor, and her 
mother, Edna Fischel, advocated woman suffrage and 
organized a local League of Women Voters chapter. 
Martha Gellhorn attended John Burroughs School in 
St. Louis and Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. 

In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), 
Gellhorn began her career as a journalist by covering 
the conflict for Colliers Weekly (see Barbara TUCHMAN, 
who began her career covering the war for The 
Nation). She arrived in Madrid carrying only a back- 
pack and fifty dollars in cash. She quickly met two 
other American reporters, Robert Capa (her lifelong 
friend) and Ernest Hemingway. The two seasoned 
men taught the young cub reporter the tricks of 
wartime journalism, including how to distinguish 
between various kinds of gunfire, how to know when 
danger is imminent and how to escape, and how to 
exit a moving vehicle safely. Gellhorn's Colliers articles 
on the Spanish Civil War inaugurated a long relation- 
ship between the magazine and its reporter. 

When the war ended, Gellhorn continued travel- 
ing through Europe, covering the advancement of 
fascism in Germany and Italy. She was the first corre- 
spondent to arrive in Finland after the Russians 
invaded the nation without formally declaring war in 
1939. While reporting on the Russo-Finnish War 
(1939-40), also known as the "Winter War, she expe- 



126 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



rienced extremely harsh conditions. In 1939, she cre- 
ated her first work of fiction based on her experiences 
as a reporter. A Stricken Field is set in Prague, on the 
eve of Hitler's control of Sudetenland. The following 
year, Gellhorn and Hemingway were married. While 
Gellhorn's novels during the early 1940s, including 
The Heart of 'Another (1941) and Liana, written while 
she and Hemingway lived in Cuba, received only 
polite nods by critics, her journalism won high 
praise. Many of her articles earned cover-story status 
during this period. 

In 1948, with The Wine of Astonishment, Gellhorn 
applied the best of her talents as a journalist and com- 
bined that with well-developed fictional characters. 
The book follows the experiences of two American sol- 
diers involved in the Battle of the Bulge during World 
War II. The battle took place between December 1944 
and January 1945 as an unsuccessful attempt on the 
part of the German army to drive a wedge into the 
Allied forces' defensive line. Both characters confront 
their most basic fears during several combat scenes. At 
the end of the novel, the character Jacob Levy, a Jewish- 
American soldier, stumbles upon Dachau, where he 
witnesses the horrors of the concentration camp. The 
experience drives him to ram his army jeep through a 
crowd of German civilians. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gellhorn continued 
reporting on armed conflicts throughout the world. 
In 1959, a series of her wartime articles appeared in a 
collection called The Face of War, an anthology that 
forces readers to grapple with the realities of war. The 
book was expanded and reissued in 1962 and 1986. 
In 1962, Gellhorn, like Hannah ARENDT, covered 
the trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann 
(1906—62). In "Eichmann and the Private Con- 
science" {Atlantic Monthly, February 1962), Gellhorn 
raises the question of the nature of morality and the 
human conscience. 

Having reported on events in Europe, Vietnam, 
Israel, El Salvador, and Nicaragua for such publica- 
tions as Colliers, the English journal The Guardian, 
and The New Statesman, Gellhorn made her home 
wherever her job took her. Divorced from Heming- 
way in 1945, she married Thomas Matthews in 
1954, a union that ended in divorce 10 years later. In 



1949, Gellhorn had adopted an Italian orphan, 
whom she named Sandy. When U.S. immigration 
officials refused to allow mother and son to enter the 
country, the two lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for a 
time. She lived most recently in London, England, 
where she penned her latest books, Travels with 
Myself and Another (1978) and The Weather in Africa 
(1980), both travel memoirs. Her collection of short 
stories, The Smell of Lilies, won the O. Henry Award 
First Prize in 1958. She died on February 15, 1998, 
in London, England. 

Further Reading 

Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York: 

Scribners, 1969. 
Gellhorn, Martha. Travels with Myself and Another. New 

York: Penguin, 1978. 
Rollyson, Carl E. Nothing Ever Happens to the Brave: The 

Story of Martha Gellhorn. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. 



HEAD, BESSIE (Bessie Amelia Emery) 

(1 937-1 986) South African/Botswanan 



'ist and writer 

Bessie Head began her career as a journalist in the 
early 1960s by writing for newspapers, such as the 
Golden City Post, that advocated change in South 
Africa's apartheid system. Her life and career were 
deeply affected by her background as a "colored" or 
mixed-race person, living in a nation that strictly 
divided its citizens according to race. Later, Head 
began writing novels and short stories, drawn from 
her experiences in Bechuanaland (now Botswana). 
Her best-known work, A Question of Power, was pub- 
lished in 1973. Her book The Collection of Treasures 
and Other Botswanan Tales was nominated for the 
Jock Campbell Award for literature in 1978. 

Bessie was born on July 6, 1937, to an upper- 
class white Scottish mother, Bessie Amelia Emery, 
and a black African father, in the Pietermaritzburg 
Mental Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, a city west of 
Durban, South Africa. When Bessie Emery was seven 
months pregnant and could no longer hide her affair 
with a black man, her family had incarcerated her. 
Little is known of Head's father, other than that he 



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JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



was a Zulu man who worked in the family stables. 
Bessie Emery died in 1943. 

Bessie Emery's family rejected their granddaugh- 
ter, sending her to be raised by a mixed-race 
woman, Nellie Heathcote, and her husband 
George. When she was 13, the Heathcotes sent her 
to a missionary orphanage and school for colored 
girls in Durban. School officials told her that her 
mother had been in the mental hospital because she 
was insane, not because of racial prejudices. Later, 
the orphanage allowed Bessie to read her files, where 
she discovered her mother's affection for her and the 
fact that she had left money for Bessie's education. 
She completed her teaching certificate in 1957 and 
took a job teaching primary school at the Clair- 
wood Coloured School. 

Her real desire, however, was to become a writer. 
Through an influential friend, Margaret Cadmore, 
she had had a short story published in a children's 
literature anthology in 1951. In 1958, she began 
her career as a journalist, working for the Golden 
City Post, a Cape Town, South Africa, weekly 
tabloid with a black readership. The paper carefully 
avoided major issues of racial unrest that would 
offend the government, but on minor issues it cried 
out against racism and enforced segregation. In 
Cape Town, Bessie lived in District Six, an inte- 
grated neighborhood that the government of Pieter 
Willem Botha (born in 1916, he was prime minister 
from 1978 to 1984 and president from 1984 to 
1989) bulldozed (literally) out of existence in 1966 
to make way for an all-white residence. Soon after, 
she moved to Johannesburg, where she wrote for a 
literary and political magazine called Drum, and 
later The New African, a monthly journal. The edi- 
tors and writers of both publications, including 
Head, were nationalists who supported the African 
National Congress (ANC), an organization devoted 
to ridding the nation of white supremacists. The 
ANC had been banned in South Africa in 1960, fol- 
lowing the state of emergency declared in response 
to the ANC's national campaign against the South 
African government. The security police confiscated 
two issues of The New African, charging it under the 
Obscene Publications Act. Head was also a member 



of the South African Liberal Party, which scorned 
South Africa's system of apartheid. 

She returned to Cape Town in 1960, where she 
started her own political broadsheet, The Citizen. 
Meanwhile, Great Britain rejected South African par- 
ticipation in the British Commonwealth (due to its 
apartheid policies) and the nation became a republic 
in 1961. Now, the former European colony was on 
its own, but its racial policies of segregation and dis- 
crimination became more onerous. Bessie met and 
married journalist Harold Head that year and the 
two began writing for The New African and a Ugan- 
dan publication called Transition. A year later, the 
couple's son Howard was born. 

Harold and Bessie Head fought intensely during 
their marriage and in 1964, Harold fled both marital 
strife and police harassment and left for Canada. Bessie 
also left South Africa with a one-way visa to take a 
teaching job at Tshekedi Memorial School in Serowe, 
Bechuanaland. Bechuanaland was a British protec- 
torate at the time; however, it too gained independ- 
ence from Great Britain in 1966 and was renamed 
Botswana. Eking out a sparse existence, Head lived in 
a house that lacked electricity, and she typed by can- 
dlelight. She and other political refugees formed a farm 
cooperative, through which she marketed her home- 
grown fruits and vegetables. During this period, she 
began the second phase of her career, writing and pub- 
lishing novels and short stories. She also suffered from 
mental depression, made worse by the prospect that 
the government of Botswana might be persuaded to 
deport her back to South Africa. Eventually, she was 
admitted to a psychiatric institution on a couple of 
occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

In Botswana, as Head wrote to the editor of The 
New African, Randolph Vigne, she met people full of 
greed and ambition, whereas in South Africa, where 
blacks were oppressed, she saw no such traits. She 
confessed that in South Africa, she couldn't write 
about people because they were "all torn up" and had 
"no definite kind of wholeness." Head herself had 
lacked a sense of belonging; as a colored person living 
in South Africa, she had been rejected by her white 
relatives but often persecuted by blacks for not being 
black enough. For Head, Botswana became a kind of 



128 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



moral microcosm where she encountered an entire 
spectrum of humanity. She found people in Serowe 
to be brutal and harsh, and much of her literary 
effort portrayed the people with whom she lived after 
1964. Her first novel, When Rain Clouds Gather 
(1969), an international success, is a vivid account of 
village life in Botswana involving the relationship 
between an Englishman and a black South African 
who together try to change the farming methods of 
the community. Her masterpiece, A Question of 
Power (1973), is a semiautobiographical account of a 
woman's mental illness and breakdown. 

In 1977, Head represented Botswana at the Inter- 
national Writers' Conference at the University of 
Iowa, and in 1980, in Denmark. She died of hepatitis 
on April 17, 1986, in Serowe, Bechuanaland. 

Further Reading 

Head, Bessie. A Gesture of Belonging: Letters fom Bessie 
Head, 1965-1979. Ed. Randolph Vigne. London and 
Portsmouth, N.H.: SA Writer & Heinemann, 1991. 

. A Question of Power. New York: Pantheon, 1973. 

. A Woman Alone. Ed. Craig MacKenzie. Oxford: 

Heinemann, 1990. 

Ola, Virginia Uzoma. The Life and Works of Bessie Head. 
Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellon Press, 1994. 



A JABAVU, NONI 

(c. 1919- ) South African/British editor 
and memoirist 

Noni Jabavu grew up in a mixed culture of Xhosa (pro- 
nounced "Kussa") tribal traditions and English Christ- 
ian colonialism. The Xhosa people inhabit the Cape 
Province area of South Africa. The phrase "Umntu 
Ngumntu Ngabantu," a traditional Xhosa saying, 
means, "a person is a person because of and through 
other people." This bit of wisdom forms the basis of 
Jabavu's memoirs about her life in South Africa, Drawn 
In Colour (1960) and The Ochre People (1963). Jabavu 
became the first black person and first woman editor of 
The New Strand, a British journal, in the 1950s. 

Noni Jabavu's grandfather was the first black 
African to own and edit a Xhosa-English newspaper 
and one of the few black politicians to be associated 



with white leaders in South Africa's Parliament, 
before the policy of apartheid was introduced in 
1948. Jabavu's father, after finishing his education in 
England, returned to South Africa in 1916 and 
taught language arts at University College of Fort 
Hare (Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa, 
also attended Fort Hare). He wrote books to help 
people learn the Xhosa language. 

Born in Cape Province in 1919 or 1921, Noni 
Jabavu, like her forebears, left South Africa as a 
teenager to obtain an education at a Quaker school in 
England. She studied violin at the Royal Academy of 
Music until World War II (1939-45) interrupted her 
studies. Like many other English women, Jabavu 
went to work in wartime industries, as a welder in a 
machine factory. She married a pilot in the Royal Air 
Force, but he died in combat soon after. Jabavu raised 
their daughter alone, studied journalism, and worked 
her way up into the position of editor at The New 
Strand. She also wrote for radio and television. She 
married a British film director, Michael Cadbury 
Crosfield, but the mixed-race couple could not 
return to South Africa; under apartheid, marriage 
between people of different races was not allowed. 
The two traveled throughout South Africa, Europe, 
and the Caribbean. 

It is largely because of her interracial and interna- 
tional background that Jabavu began writing her 
memoirs. An English friend encouraged her to stop 
reminiscing about her African heritage and to start 
writing it down. Jabavu took her friend's advice. 

As Jabavu reached the middle years of her life, 
important changes occurred in South Africa that 
affected her writing. In 1948, South Africa's National 
Party took control of the government and began con- 
structing a system of apartheid, or the separation of 
the country's population groups into blacks, col- 
oreds — South Africans of mixed descent — Indians, 
and whites. In 1961, the country gained independ- 
ence from Great Britain, as European colonial hold- 
ings were separating from their European colonizers 
all over the African continent. Shortly after, South 
Africa withdrew from the British Commonwealth 
because of Britain's criticisms of its racial policies. In 
the 1960s, South Africa became the scene of violent 



129 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



turmoil that lasted for about three decades. The 
African National Congress (ANC), formed to fight 
for black rights (blacks form the overwhelming 
majority of the population), was banned by the gov- 
ernment in 1960. In response, the ANC and other 
groups formed guerrilla campaigns against the South 
African government. ANC leaders, such as Nelson 
Mandela (1918- ), were jailed. Three decades later, 
in 1994, apartheid was abolished and Mandela 
became president of South Africa. 

In some ways, Jabavu's memoirs are less about her 
own life and more about the life and culture of the 
Xhosa people. As a way of introducing her audience 
(whom she assumed would be mostly English people; 
both books were published in London) to South 
Africa, she begins with her journey back home for her 
brother's funeral in 1955. Gangsters in Johannes- 
burg, South Africa, had murdered her brother, Tengo 
Jabavu. The funeral, held in her family's African Wes- 
leyan Methodist Church, was attended by a variety of 
people: blacks, whites, coloreds, and Indians. Jabavu 
describes the funeral service, which included sponta- 
neous outbursts of grief, dismay at the circumstances 
under which Tengo Jabavu had been murdered — one 
mourner blamed his death on slum conditions in 
black townships — and prayers. Noni Jabavu 
describes the funeral as a mixture of Christian and 
pagan ritual. After the Christian service, the family 
adhered to the traditional Xhosa practice of killing 
and eating an ox, a cleansing ritual, and remaining 
secluded from others for a period of time, all of 
which enabled Jabavu to accept her brother's death. 

Nowhere in her memoirs does Jabavu heighten or 
even focus on racial tensions. While conflict does exist, 
Jabavu's tone toward the mixture of races is one of grat- 
itude, not hostility. She fondly describes cordial inter- 
actions between her family and white families and 
views the policy of apartheid as simply a transitory 
phase that South Africans have to live through. (Bessie 
HEAD and Lilian NGOYI did not agree.) 

In addition to introducing readers to South 
African culture, Jabavu also memorializes her Xhosa 
family. With Tengo Jabavu's death, the Jabavu line 
died out; there were no more descendants of Noni 
Jabavu's family in South Africa. She uses the phrase 



"Umntu Ngumntu Ngabantu" to show how individ- 
uals in both the traditional and Christian Xhosa 
communities teach children to humble themselves 
for the sake of collective sharing within the family 
and community. Individuals, according to Xhosa cul- 
ture, are not thought of as individuals but rather as 
representatives of the family; an individual's aspira- 
tions are subordinate to family goals. Books such as 
Noni Jabavu's memoirs have helped many displaced 
Africans understand their cultures better. 

Further Reading 

Barnett, U. A. A Vision of Order: A Study of Black South 

African Literature in English, 1914—1980. Cape Town: 

Maskew Miller Londman, 1983. 
Jabavu, Noni. Drawn In Colour: African Contrasts. London: 

Murray, 1960. 

. The Ochre People. London: Murray, 1963. 

Smith, G. A. "A Woman of Two Worlds Tells Her Story," 

The Porum 9, vol. 3 (June 1960): 25. 



A JACOBS, HARRIET A. (Linda Brent) 

(c. 1813-1897) American author 
and abolitionist 

Harriet Jacobs promoted the abolition of slavery pri- 
marily through her autobiography Incidents in the 
Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself (1861) . The 
book recounts her life as a slave; the seven years she 
spent hidden away from her master in an attic; her 
incredible escape to the North and her odyssey as a 
fugitive slave; and her life as a free woman and an 
abolitionist. Incidents offered a dual critique of the 
institution of slavery and the restrictions facing 19th- 
century women and set a new precedent for women's 
writing. Jacobs broke the taboos against women dis- 
cussing their sexual lives and engaging in illicit sexual 
relations, and she redefined the word freedom in fem- 
inist terms, as a single woman and a mother. At the 
end of Incidents, she tells us, "Reader, my story ends 
with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage. I 
and my children are now free!" 

Incidents was written while Jacobs's owner and her 
other antagonists were still alive, so she concealed her 
identity, and theirs, by using pseudonyms; she wrote 



130 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



under the pen name of Linda Brent (the following 
names are the characters' real names, not those used 
in Jacobs's book). Jacobs begins her story with her 
childhood in Edenton, North Carolina, spent in slav- 
ery. Her first owner, Margaret Horniblow, who 
taught her to read and sew when she was little, upon 
her death willed her to her baby niece, Mary Matilda 
Norcom. Norcom's father, Dr. James Norcom, began 
sexually pursuing Jacobs as soon as she reached 
puberty. If she refused to become his concubine, 
Norcom threatened to send her to his plantation to 
work as a field hand. In her teens, Jacobs began hav- 
ing an affair with Samuel Tredwell Sawyer, an attor- 
ney, legislator, and neighbor of Norcom's. When she 
gave birth to two children, Louisa and Joseph, Nor- 
com sent Jacobs to his plantation and threatened to 
send her children there as well. Jacobs then took a 
gamble, hoping to save her children from a life of 
hard labor. She resolved that if she went into hiding, 
Norcom would soon tire of the children and sell 
them to Sawyer, who promised to free them. Her 
grandmother Molly Horniblow, a free woman once 
owned by Margaret Horniblow, worked as a baker. 
Her house had a tiny crawl space above a storeroom, 
where Jacobs remained in hiding for seven years, 
spending her time reading the Bible (Incidents is 
replete with Bible verses) and sewing. 

Her gamble paid off in part. Sawyer did indeed buy 
the children, allowing them to live with their great- 
grandmother. Later he took Louisa to a free state 
(Joseph had escaped and joined Jacobs's brother 
William on the abolitionist speakers' circuit) but he 
never freed them. Finally, in 1842, Jacobs fled north 
on a vessel that sailed to Philadelphia. Thanks to the 
aid of the Anti-Slavery Society, which provided shelter 
and connections with employers for runaway slaves, 
she found work as a domestic servant in New York. For 
the next eight years, Jacobs lived in relative calm. 

In 1850, however, the nature of slavery and aboli- 
tionism changed with the passage of the Fugitive Slave 
Act. Thenceforth, northerners were required to aid in 
the capture of fugitive slaves, and they faced punish- 
ment if they assisted escaped slaves. Whereas previ- 
ously, northerners could ignore slavery as a southern 
"peculiar institution," they were now required to par- 



ticipate in it. For Jacobs, the law meant that her for- 
mer captors could once again pursue her. Mary 
Matilda Norcom traveled to New York to reclaim her 
lost property: Jacobs and her daughter. Her employ- 
ers, Cornelia Grinnell Willis and Nathaniel Parker 
Willis, arranged for the American Colonization Soci- 
ety (an organization dedicated to relocating freed 
slaves far from U.S. territory) to purchase Jacobs for 
three hundred dollars in 1852. Thrilled to be finally 
free, Jacobs nonetheless felt disappointment at having 
to act as a commodity one last time. She now turned 
her attention to writing her life's story. 

Slave narratives had already been used as weapons 
in the fight against slavery in the United States when 
Jacobs began writing hers. Frederick Douglass's Narra- 
tive of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave 
(1845) established the significance of the genre within 
the abolitionist movement. Douglass depicted the hor- 
rors of slavery, the immorality of the institution (but 
not the slaveholders, who could be saved from their 
immoral acts through repentance), and relied upon the 
respectability lent to the narrative by Douglass's edi- 
tors, white abolitionists, to make his arguments against 
slavery. Jacobs, too, worked with the abolitionist editor 
Lydia Maria Child (1802-80) in producing her work. 
The famous writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96), 
who wrote the influential abolitionist novel Uncle 
Tom's Cabin (1850), had offered to ghostwrite the 
book, but Jacobs refused, wishing to retain her author- 
ial voice. Jacobs's and Douglass's narratives helped per- 
suade northerners to join the cause against the 
immorality of the institution of slavery; Jacobs's story 
revealed the double burden of slavery on women, who 
like men, were in captivity, but who were also subject 
to sexual harassment by their masters. 

Incidents sold well, and Jacobs gained a modest 
celebrity as a result. During the Civil War (1 861-65), 
she helped raise money to aid black refugees crowd- 
ing into Washington, D.C., in search of food, shelter, 
and employment. In 1863, with the help of the New 
England Freedmen's Aid Society, she and Louisa 
opened the Jacobs Free School for African Ameri- 
cans. In 1864, Elizabeth Cady STANTON and Susan 
B. ANTHONY named Harriet Jacobs to the executive 
committee of the Women's Loyal National League, 



131 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



which recognized women's efforts in the Union fight 
against the South during the Civil War. Jacobs sailed 
to London in 1868 to raise money for an orphanage 
and old people's home. Failing health forced her 
retirement later that year; she died on March 7, 
1897, in Washington, D.C. 

Harriet Jacobs and her book Incidents in the Life 
of a Slave Girl languished as part of a forgotten past 
until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 
1960s, and the women's liberation movement of the 
1960s and 1970s. When 20th-century historians 
recovered the true identities of Jacobs's characters, 
dispelling myths that it was fictional and its author 
white, scholars resurrected the book as the most 
important literary work by an African-American 
woman in the antebellum period. 

Further Reading 

Braxton, JoAnne. Black Women Writing Autobiography: A 
Tradition Within a Tradition. Philadelphia: Temple Uni- 
versity Press, 1989. 

Jacobs, Harriet Ann. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 
Written by Herself (1 861), edited by Jean Fagan Yellin. 
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987. 

Sterling, Dorothy. We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the 
Nineteenth Century. New York: W. W. Norton, 1984. 



A MACAULAY, CATHARINE SAWBRIDGE 

(1731-1791) British historian and 
pamphleteer 

Catharine Sawbridge Macaulay, independent scholar, 
historian, and political pamphleteer, broke every rule 
in the book of how women should conduct themselves 
in society. Despite the sometimes piercing criticism 
her work provoked, she became a respected and even 
revered writer. Her books were controversial for two 
reasons: because she was a woman and because her 
views on the political and social questions of the day 
were seen as radical in England; many of her works 
became more popular in France and the United States. 
The following poem, written in 1798 by Richard 
Polwhele, accurately conveys the hostile attitude 
with which many male writers viewed their female 
counterparts: 



Survey with me, what never our fathers saw, 
A female band despising nature's law, 
As "proud defiance" flashes from their arms, 
And vengeance smothers all their softer charms. 

Other male writers, such as Delariviere Manley, 
argued that for a woman to be engaged in intellectual 
pursuits indicated that she was sterile. Catharine 
Macaulay summed up the prejudices women authors 
faced when she wrote, in her book Letters on Educa- 
tion (1790): "Woman has everything against her." 

Catharine Sawbridge was born on April 2, 1731, 
in Kent, England, to John Sawbridge, a wealthy 
landowner, and Elizabeth Wanley Sawbridge. Her 
mother died during childbirth when she was two, 
and her father gave Catharine and her brother full 
use of his extensive library. John Sawbridge had many 
books on the ancient Romans, and the Romans' lib- 
ertarian and republican ideals inspired Catharine. In 
1760, she married a Scottish physician, George 
Macaulay, who encouraged her literary talents. 
Macaulay died in 1776, leaving Catharine with a 
healthy inheritance and their young daughter. 

She began work on her best-known book, the 
eight-volume History of England from the Accession of 
James I to that of the Brunswick Line, fully aware of the 
fact that there were no other women historians in Eng- 
land (and, indeed, never had been). She knew of the 
"censures which may ensue from striking into a path of 
literature rarely trodden by my sex." But, she refused 
to let the "censors" keep her "mute in the cause of lib- 
erty and virtue." In other words, Catharine Macaulay 
wrote with passion because she felt strongly about her 
subject; that passion would keep her going, no matter 
what the cost. 

Unlike other women writers, such as Elizabeth 
MALLET, who thought their work would more likely 
achieve acclaim if she wrote it without her feminine 
first name, Macaulay wrote her History of England 
under her own name. In the preface to the first vol- 
ume of the History of England, however, she asked her 
readers to overlook the "inaccuracies of style" as "the 
defects of the female historian," not to be "weighed 
in the balance of severe criticism." In other words, 
she assumed that male critics would judge her work 



132 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



poorly because she was a woman. Such appeals by 
female writers were common before the 20th century. 
Other female writers published their work anony- 
mously to protect themselves from criticism (many of 
Macaulay's pamphlets were published this way). 

Macaulay's History of England praises the republi- 
can form of government in England, championed by 
the Long Parliament during the mid— 1600s. In Eng- 
land, the Parliament is the governmental body that 
represents English citizens and balances the power of 
the monarch. Macaulay condemns monarchical gov- 
ernment as corrupt and antilibertarian, a dangerous 
view to hold in England. Her male counterpart, 
philosopher David Hume (171 1-76), wrote his His- 
tory of England in 1754; his book defends the 
monarchy and argues that the crown would best sus- 
tain English principles of freedom and liberty. 
Macaulay's History of England challenges that 
notion; it sold well and was translated into French, 
though it never received the acclaim that Hume's 
history did. 

After finishing the last of the eight-volume his- 
tory, published in 1783, Macaulay began working on 
a series of pamphlets, which were designed to per- 
suade readers to her political views. Many of them 
were responses to pamphlets written by other politi- 
cal thinkers. She wrote a pamphlet on copyright law 
in 1774; on the American crisis in 1775; and a pam- 
phlet on the French Revolution, in response to 
Edmund Burke's (1729-97) views on the subject. 
Perhaps her most influential piece, "Letters on Edu- 
cation," written in 1790, advocates the same sports 
and studies for girls and boys. This too was contro- 
versial, as most people thought that the only educa- 
tion girls needed was in keeping house and raising 
children. Macaulay, who was educated in the same 
way as her brother, believed that women's second- 
class status in society arose from the notion that their 
only value lay in pleasing men. 

Both the American and French revolutions excited 
Macaulay a great deal; she saw in these nations the 
possibility of real political and social freedom taking 
root. She visited America in 1784, as the guest of 
George Washington at his home in Mount Vernon. 
She died in Berkshire, England, on June 22, 1791. 



Further Reading 

Hill, Bridget. Republican Virago: The Life and Times of 
Catharine Macaulay, Historian. New York: Oxford Uni- 
versity Press, 1992. 

Macaulay, Catharine. Observations on the Reflections of the 
Right Hon. Edmund Burke . . . New York: Woodstock 
Books, 1997. 



A MALLET, ELIZABETH 

(late 17th century-early 18th century) 
British publisher and journalist 

Very little is known about the life of Elizabeth Mallet. 
We know that she lived in England around the turn 
of the 18 th century, and we know that she published 
newspapers and sold books. Historians believe that 
she established the first English daily newspaper in 
1702, The Daily Courant. When the newspaper first 
appeared on March 11, 1702, the imprint, or publi- 
cation information of The Daily Courant, read: 
"LONDON. Sold by E. Mallet, next Door to the 
Kings-Arms Tavern at Fleet-Bridge." She published 
her newspaper under a gender-neutral name, "E. 
Mallet." Women who worked in traditionally male 
occupations often tried to obscure their sex so as not 
to incur the ridicule, or even the censorship, of their 
male counterparts. Like most writers, they simply 
wanted to be read, and many thought that no one 
would read a newspaper if they thought that a 
woman had written it. 

In the late 17th century, newspaper writers such as 
Elizabeth Mallet got started in the business by print- 
ing broadsides and distributing them on city streets. 
Broadsides were large sheets of paper with news sto- 
ries printed on them. Journalists found their news 
items on the streets of the cities where the papers 
were sold. Here are some of the news items that Eliz- 
abeth Mallet printed on her broadsides: 

Strange news of a most dreadful fire at Bedmin- 
ster in Dorsetshire which happened on Saturday, 
June the 28th, 1684, and burnt to the ground the 
market-house and an hundred and ten houses 
more, to the great terror of the inhabitants and 
the loss of five or six thousand pound. 



133 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



From another broadside, printed by Elizabeth 
Mallet in 1684: 

A Full and true relation of a most barbarous and 
dreadful murder committed on the body of Mrs. 
Kirk, wife of Edmund Kirk, drawer at the Rose- 
Tavern in Pye-Corner, on Sunday, May the 25th, 
1684, whose body was found in a pit near 
Tyburn, supposed to be murder'd by her aforesaid 
husband . . . 

Next, we read news of the demise of the pathetic 
Edmund Kirk, on this broadside: 

An exact and true relation of the behaviour of 
Edmund Kirk, John Bennet, Morgan Keading 
and Andrew Hill, during their imprisonment, 
and at the place of execution on Friday the 11th 
of this instant July 1684: with their last dying 
words and speeches at Tyburn. . . . 

There had been an earlier request for a daily news- 
paper. In the autumn of 1665, Charles II isolated 
himself in Oxford from the Bubonic or Black Plague 
(the plague first struck Europe in the mid- 1 4th cen- 
tury; recurrences continued until the beginning of 
the 18th century). The king wanted newspapers to 
read, yet feared to touch London newspapers, which 
might be infected. He ordered Leonard Litchfeld, the 
university printer, to bring out a local paper daily. On 
Tuesday, November 14, 1665, the first number of 
The Oxford Gazette (later The London Gazette) 
appeared; however, it was published only on Thurs- 
days and Mondays. Mallet's next foray into the news 
business, The Daily Courant, copied this precursor to 
some degree. Unlike her earlier broadsides, the first 
issue of The Daily Courant did not contain any local 
news. Its two columns resembled the design of the by 
now prominent London Gazette. 

The first issue of the Courant also contained this 
editorial "Advertisement," which stated the aims of 
the new daily newspaper: 

It will be found from the Foreign Prints, which 
from time to time, as Occasion offers, will be 
mention'd in this Paper, that the Author has taken 
Care to be duly furnish'd with all that comes from 



Abroad in any Language. And for an Assurance 
that he will not, under Pretence of having Private 
Intelligence, impose any Additions of feign'd Cir- 
cumstances to an Action, but give his Extracts 
fairly and Impartially; at the beginning of each 
Article he will quote the Foreign Paper from 
whence 'tis taken, that the Publick, seeing from 
what Country a piece of News comes with the 
Allowance of that Government, may be better 
able to Judge the Credibility and Fairness of the 
Relation: Nor will he take it upon himself to give 
any Comments or Conjectures of his own, but 
will relate only Matter of Fact; supposing other 
People to have Sense enough to make Reflections 
for themselves. 

Next, Mallet promised to deliver the news daily, 
"as soon as every Post arrives." 

This "Advertisement" sets forth a journalistic ethi- 
cal code that still exists today. Note that Mallet states 
that she will not add or enhance any of the news sto- 
ries that she receives and translates into English: 
instead, she will "give his Extracts fairly and Impar- 
tially," without adding any of her own biases. Finally, 
she will not add any editorial comments on the con- 
tent of the articles, for she assumed that "People [had] 
Sense enough to make Reflections for themselves." 

Mallet's role in establishing the first English daily 
newspaper, however, was short-lived. Nine days later, 
she apparently gave up the venture, since the tenth 
issue of the daily, published a month later, included 
the following imprint: "Printed and Sold by Sam 
Buckley, at the sign of the Dolphin, in Little-Britain." 
Why Mallet no longer sold her paper is not known. 
Historian James Sutherland writes, "It seems unlikely 
that Elizabeth Mallet was ever the proprietor of the 
paper she sold, and much more likely that it was 
owned from the start by Buckley, who was both a 
printer and a publisher. We know that by 1708, if not 
indeed from its foundation, it was jointly owned by a 
group of booksellers, one of whom may have been 
Buckley. He was certainly the author or compiler of 
the paper." Sutherland offers no evidence of his sup- 
positions, however; given her background as a jour- 
nalist, it is likely that Mallet did more than simply sell 
the paper, but she chose not to reveal herself as such, 



134 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



because of the stigma attached to "scribbling women 
writers" (see Catharine MACAULAY). It may also be 
possible that Mallet died in 1702, and that Buckley 
bought the paper from her estate. 

Elizabeth Mallet also published and sold The Pet- 
ticoat Government, The New Quevedo, The Secret 
Mercury, and The History of Living Men by John 
Dunton (1659-1731) in 1702. William Freke 
(1662-1744), Andrew Marvell (1621-78), Edward 
Ward (1667-1731), and John Tutchin (1661-1707) 
also wrote books that Mallet published. 

Further Reading 

Herd, Harold. The March of Journalism: The Story of the 
British Press fiom 1622 to the Present Day. Westport, 
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1973. 



A SHAW, FLORA (Lady Lugard) 
(1852-1929) British journalist 

Journalist Flora Shaw led the way in publicizing 
favorable attitudes about British imperialism, espe- 
cially in South Africa, in the 1 9th and early 20th cen- 
turies. Her stories about conditions in South Africa 
went beyond informing readers to persuading them 
of the righteousness of British foreign policy. Shaw 
made a career in journalism at a time when few 
women discussed — let alone shaped — public policy. 

Flora Shaw is an enigma in many ways. On the 
one hand, she was an extremely successful career 
woman. She did not marry until after she had estab- 
lished a name for herself, which allowed her to work 
without regard to the duties that were obligatory for 
white, middle-class, 19th-century women. On the 
other hand, she once commented that any woman 
who had not borne a child was a failure and her life 
not worth recording (Shaw married at the age of 50, 
past childbearing years); so she clearly felt that tradi- 
tional roles for women were fundamental. 

Of primary importance in understanding Shaw is 
the historical context in which she lived. Imperialism 
defined English history in the late 19th century. Sev- 
eral European women in this volume — MATA HARI, 
Beryl MARKHAM, and Alexandra DAVID-NEEL — were 



affected by the race among European powers to 
establish colonies overseas. But whereas Mata Hari, 
Markham, and David-Neel did nothing to publicly 
support British imperialism, Shaw did. She wrote 
more than 500 articles on economic and political 
issues in British colonies that wholeheartedly sup- 
ported British expansion, by military force if neces- 
sary. Not content merely to report what leading 
statesmen had to say about imperialism, she shaped 
the ways that politicians used language to garner sup- 
port for the imperialist cause (for objectivity in jour- 
nalism, see Oriana FALLACl). Two of Shaw's British 
contemporaries, Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) and 
Annie Besant (1847-1933), used their pens to con- 
demn British imperialism. 

Even after she retired from her career, due to poor 
health, Shaw continued to support imperialism. Her 
husband, Sir Frederick Lugard, was high commis- 
sioner of Northern Nigeria, a British colony in west 
Africa (today an independent nation) . As a governor's 
wife she supported the imperialist cause by promot- 
ing her husband's career and working for philan- 
thropic organizations, such as the Royal Society of 
Arts. Her work with refugees during World War I 
earned her the title Dame of the British Empire. 

Shaw had an intense sense of individualism and 
carefully guarded her own work and her independ- 
ence and ability to establish a career for herself; how- 
ever, she did not extend her own experiences to 
others. Though proud of her own autonomy, she did 
not believe that other women ought to act independ- 
ently of their fathers or husbands. She refused to sup- 
port woman suffrage, or the right of women to vote, 
for that reason. 

Imperialism played a role in Shaw's family, even 
before she was born. Her mother's father was the gov- 
ernor of Mauritius, a French colonial island in the 
Indian Ocean. Her father, George Shaw, served in the 
army during the Crimean War. Her mother, chroni- 
cally ill, had borne 14 children and died in her early 
forties. Flora Shaw took over her mother's household 
duties until her father remarried. She met writer John 
Ruskin (1819-1900) in 1869, when she was 17; he 
adopted Shaw as a protegee and introduced her to 
historian Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), who intro- 



135 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



duced her to the ideals that would shape the rest of 
her life and career: patriotism, militarism, and impe- 
rialism. In 1877, with Ruskin's guidance, she pub- 
lished her first children's story, Castle Blair. 

She then moved to London, where, like many 
young women of her class, she embarked on charity 
work in the slums of London's dock area. Though she 
found charity work to be a "satisfaction to the heart," 
she did not see it as a remedy to the intense poverty 
she saw. 

The real solution, as Shaw saw it, lay in the colo- 
nization of distant lands, which she believed would 
bring employment for London's poor. She decided to 
use her writing ability in the field of journalism. In 
W. T. Stead, editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, she 
found a willing employer. Stead, an imperialist, 
believed in the power of the press to shape political 
policy, and so did Shaw. For the next 15 years, she 
worked as a highly regarded political journalist and 
foreign correspondent for the Pall Mall Gazette, the 
Manchester Guardian, and the London Times, a presti- 
gious paper that, more than any other publication, 
shaped the views of the ruling classes of England. 
Had she been a man, she was told by the Times, she 
would have been made their colonial editor. 

Flora Shaw identified with the aspirations of the 
"empire-builders" of her day, and her admiration was 
reflected in her reports. From South Africa, for 
example, she reported on the diamond mines at 
Kimberley and the gold mines at Johannesburg, 
exclaiming that "South Africa is nothing less than a 
continent in the making," and that "the fertility of 
the soil is no less amazing than the mineral wealth." 
She argued that the British should continue eco- 
nomic development: "What English supremacy 
demands [in South Africa] ... is railway develop- 
ment, a customs union, . . . and above all, an 
increased white population." Like many white 
women of her day, Shaw viewed African people as 
uncivilized, and therefore, inferior to Europeans. 
She believed that Africans served an important role 
as servants and workers in advancing the Europeans' 
economic goals. Exposing Africans to civilization 
during the colonizing process, she thought, could 
only benefit them. 



Despite her fame, Flora Shaw remained modest. 
"To have helped rouse the British public to a sense of 
Imperial responsibility and an ideal of Imperial great- 
ness ... to have prevented the Dutch from taking 
South Africa, to have directed the flow of capital and 
immigration to Canada ... are all matters that I am 
proud and glad to have had my part in," she wrote; 
but, because she was a woman, she had no interest in 
fame. "We are brought up that way," she explained, 
"to shun rather than court public notice." 

Further Reading 

Bell, E. Moberly. Flora Shaw (Lady Lugard, D.B.E.). Lon- 
don: Constable, 1947. 

Chaudhuri, Nupur, and Margaret Strobel, eds. Western 
Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance. 
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992. 

Lugard, Flora S. A Tropical Dependency. Lawrenceville, 
N.J.: Africa World Press, Inc., 1995. 



A SONTAG, SUSAN 

(1933—2004) American essayist 
and social commentator 

Susan Sontag's career has been marked by a zealous 
pursuit of intelligence that analyzes modern culture 
down nearly every possible avenue: art, philosophy, lit- 
erature, politics, and morality. Sontag won two Rocke- 
feller Fellowships in 1965 and 1974, and two 
Guggenheim Fellowships in 1966 and 1975. She won 
the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in Literature, 
the Brandeis University Creative Arts Award, and the 
Arts and Letters Award of the American Academy of 
Arts and Letters, all in 1976. Her book On Photogra- 
phy (1977) won the National Book Critics Circle Prize 
for criticism in 1978. Like a modern-day Socrates, 
Susan Sontag writes essays that probe beneath the sur- 
face of American culture to uncover a truth. For exam- 
ple, she revealed disturbing similarities between Nazi 
Germany in the 1930s and American culture in the 
1960s. Sontag unravels the ideological underpinnings 
of American society, examines them, and then shifts 
her focus to marginalized subgroups within society, 
such as women. Her essay "The Third World of 
Women," published in a 1973 issue oi Partisan Review, 



136 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



explores the way society forces gender roles on men 
and women and then probes the meaning of the 1960s 
and 1970s women's liberation movement. Many of her 
writings are autobiographical and deal with construc- 
tions of identity. Critical of contemporary politics and 
ideologies, including feminism, Sontag often forms 
the basis of her thoughts by examining her own life. 
Though primarily a critic of art forms, including liter- 
ature, film, and photography, she is also a practitioner 
of those same forms. 

The daughter of a traveling salesman and a 
teacher, Sontag was born on January 28, 1933, in 
New York City, but she was raised in Tucson and Los 
Angeles. She had dreamed of becoming a scientist 
but decided on a career in writing while still in high 
school (she graduated from North Hollywood High 
at the age of 15). She began her college career at the 
University of California at Berkeley but quickly 
transferred to the University of Chicago, where she 
completed her degree in philosophy in 1951. She had 
married sociologist Philip Rieff in 1950 and gave 
birth to their son in 1952. The couple divorced in 
1959, after they completed a book together, Freud: 
The Mind of a Moralist (1959). 

Sontag continued her education at Harvard, 
where she earned an M.A. in English and another in 
philosophy. She finished all the work for her Ph.D. 
except a dissertation. She taught on several college 
campuses, including Sarah Lawrence College and 
Columbia University. In 1957, the Association of 
American University Women awarded her with a 
grant to study abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. 

During the next few years, while living in New 
York City with her son, Sontag's essays appeared reg- 
ularly in such literary and political magazines as The 
Nation, Partisan Review, and the New York Review of 
Books. She also edited Commentary and wrote a 
novel, The Benefactor (1964), in which the male pro- 
tagonist's dreams invade his waking life. In 1966, she 
wrote an influential article on art criticism included 
in her book Against Interpretation, in which she 
rejected the notion that art should be interpreted and 
instead advocated the exploration of how art func- 
tions. Another novel, Death Kit (1967), features a 
hero who may or may not be a murderer. Sontag won 



two awards for her work during the 1960s: the 
George Polk Memorial Award (1966) and a Guggen- 
heim fellowship. Her awards enabled her to concen- 
trate full time on her writing. 

By the 1970s, Sontag had delved into the adja- 
cent fields of film and photography. In perhaps her 
most celebrated work, On Photography, Sontag 
offered a philosophic meditation on how photogra- 
phy functions in society: how it has changed the way 
we look at ourselves and at the world. She theorizes 
that photographic images represent an imagined past 
that, unlike fleeting reality, is forever arrested in 
time. Especially in a capitalistic economy, photo- 
graphs, like other commodities, offer us the possibil- 
ity to create an image of ourselves that we want to 
project on the world. She also wrote and directed 
three of her own plays during the 1970s: Duet for 
Cannibals (1970), Brother Carl (1971), and 
Promised Land ( 1 974) . 

Her works dealing more directly with political 
issues include Trip to Hanoi (1968) and Styles of Rad- 
ical Will. The former presents her ruminations dur- 
ing her two-week trip to North Vietnam during the 
Vietnam War (1956-75). Styles of Radical Will dis- 
cusses the value of pornography as a form of litera- 
ture. Identified primarily with American left-wing 
intellectuals, Sontag infuriated her colleagues when, 
during her 1982 visit to Poland, she commented that 
communism was successful fascism, or, as she puts it 
elsewhere, communism was "fascism with a human 
face." (Theoretically, communism, according to Karl 
Marx, was to eventually result in the obsolescence of 
government, while fascism called for an extremely 
forceful centralized government.) Sontag provoked 
feminists when she once described the movement as a 
bit simpleminded, charging that American feminists 
had divorced mind from feeling. 

Sontag's more recent works include a play, Alice in 
Bed (1993), Paintings (1995), and In America: A 
Novel (2000). The play, possibly drawn from her 
1978 essay "Illness as Metaphor," about her own 
struggle with cancer, explores the relationships within 
the family of the 19th-century American writer 
Henry James, especially James's younger sister, Alice 
James. Sontag lives and works in New York. 



137 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



Further Reading 

Kennedy, Liam. Susan Sontag: Mind as Passion. Manchester, 

U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1995. 
Leland, Poague. Conversations with Susan Sontag. Jackson: 

University Press of Mississippi, 1995. 
Sayres, Sohnya. Susan Sontag: The Elegiac Modernist. New 

York: Routledge, 1990. 
Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Farrar, Straus 

and Giroux, 1977. 



A STAEL, MADAME DE (Anne Louise de 
Stael, Anne Louise Germaine Necker) 

(1766—1817) French writer and intellectual 

Author Madame de Stael used her ideas, and her pen, 
to persuade her audiences that the individual 
deserved more power and freedom. She used two dif- 
ferent forms of writing to express her ideas; first, she 
wrote novels that had underlying messages about 
human freedom. Second, she wrote nonfiction books 
in which she communicated her ideas about the role 
individuals played in politics and society. Her corpus 
of work includes novels, plays, memoirs, criticism, 
and works of historical and sociological observations. 
In addition to her copious writing, Madame de Stael 
also influenced French intellectual life through her 
salon. In France, it was common for upper-class 
women to operate salons, or public rooms where 
intellectuals met to discuss politics and philosophy. 
On the surface, these women appeared to be host- 
esses, serving drinks and food for their customers. 
But in reality, they participated as much in the intel- 
lectual life of their salons as did their male patrons. 

Madame de Stael is perhaps best known as a fore- 
runner of the Romantic movement in Europe, and 
for her trenchant comparative analyses of European 
culture. Romanticism, defined as an attitude or intel- 
lectual orientation that privileged emotion over 
rational thinking, flourished in Europe between the 
18th and mid- 19th centuries. In Germany, a culture 
de Stael admired, Romanticism was marked by a pre- 
occupation with the mystical, the subconscious, and 
the supernatural. Madame de StaeTs thought coa- 
lesced in 1800 with the writing of De la litterature 
consideree dans ses rapports avec les instituions sociales 



(A Treatise of Ancient and Modern Literature and the 
Influence of Literature Upon Society). This complex 
book — with its new perspectives and fresh ideas — 
articulated the beginnings of positivism later refined 
by the French philosopher Hippolyte Taine 
(1828-93). Positivism is the notion that only experi- 
ence (rather than logic or rational thinking) forms 
the basis of knowledge. 

It is hard to imagine a time or place in which the 
ideas that were discussed in Anne Louise de StaeTs 
salon would have had more significance, for de Stael 
was born into a political climate that was rife with 
political change. The 1789 French Revolution 
spelled the end of the French monarchy and, at least 
for a short time, the beginning of a republic in which 
ordinary citizens, instead of aristocrats, took power. 
In this hot climate of revolutionary change, Anne 
Louise de Stael publicized her ideas. 

Born on April 22, 1766, in Paris, de StaeTs family 
encouraged her intellectual development. Her father, 
Jacques Necker (1732-1804), was a man of modest 
origins who had risen to become King Louis XVI's 
(1754-93) finance minister. Had de Stael been born 
a man, it is likely she would have followed in her 
father's footsteps, as she, too, displayed a knack for 
managing money. But as a woman, de Stael used the 
avenues that were open to her. Anne Louise Ger- 
maine spent her childhood in her mother Suzanne's 
salon, absorbing ideas. 

Jacques Necker adored his daughter, and she him, 
which became a source of jealousy for Suzanne 
Necker. Consequently, when Anne Louise was 20, 
she succumbed to an arranged marriage to the 
Swedish Ambassador to France, Baron Erik Magnus 
de Stael-Holstein. Although he professed to love her, 
she did not return his feelings, and the two only 
rarely lived together. Anne Louise had many lovers 
and returned home to her husband only when the 
father of the child she was carrying was in question. 
Her husband fathered only one of her five children. 

Anne Louise de Stael recognized the benefits of 
her marriage to the ambassador, however. When the 
French revolutionaries tore down the monarchical 
government in 1789, de Stael was able to remain in 
Paris, instead of having to leave when the govern- 



138 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



ment was ousted. During the revolutionary period, 
her salon became the meeting place for those who 
agreed that France should still be ruled by a king but 
argued that ordinary citizens should be allowed to 
participate in the government, too. 

After the French Revolution ended, the legendary 
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) arrived in Paris, 
promising to save France from its political turmoil. 
Madame de Stael at first welcomed Napoleon as 
France's savior. However, he soon disappointed her. 
Napoleon disagreed with Madame de StaeTs political 
views; at one point he banished her books, and he 
even prohibited her from living in France. 

Napoleon objected primarily to her novels, Del- 
phine, written in 1802, and De I'Allemagne (The Ger- 
mans), written in 1810. In both books, de Stael 
criticized France and French society. Delphine, a com- 
ing-of-age story about a young woman, raised eye- 
brows because in it de Stael seemed to be advocating 
liberal ideas about divorce and British Protestantism 
(France was a Catholic nation). De I'Allemagne, how- 
ever, really became a burr in Napoleons blanket. Here, 
Madame de Stael examined and praised what she 
understood to be the German national character — 
emotional, sentimental, and enthusiastic. She even 
encouraged French people to view the Germans as 
model citizens. Ironically, de Stael would probably 
never have written De I'Allemagne were it not for 
Napoleon himself. When he banished her from Paris 
for writing Delphine, she moved to Germany. 

Madame de StaeTs other works include The Influ- 
ence of the Passions upon the Happiness of Individual's 
and of Nations, written in 1796. In this book, de Stael 
expresses her belief in a political system that pro- 
motes freedom of the individual to make moral deci- 
sions without guidance from authority figures in 
government. De Stael, like other intellectuals of her 
time, focused on the human rights with which people 
were born (or "inalienable rights"). 

Madame de Stael not only advocated greater 
rights for citizens in general but she also demanded 
rights for specific groups of people. In 1814, for 
example, she appealed to the Congress of Vienna, a 
meeting of Europe's heads of state, to abolish slavery. 
Scholars also consider Madame de Stael a feminist for 



her advocacy of women's rights. Her novels, espe- 
cially Delphine and Corinne (1807), conveyed sympa- 
thy with the plight of women in a patriarchal society. 
In 1811, at the age of 45, de Stael married a 24- 
year-old Italian army lieutenant. They returned to 
Paris after Napoleon relinquished his throne in 1814. 
She died on July 14, 1817. 

Further Reading 

Besser, Gretchen Rous. Germaine de Stael Revisited. Boston: 

Twayne, 1994. 
Stael, Madame de. Madame de Stael on Politics, Literature, 

and National Character, trans. Morroe Berger. Garden 

City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964. 
Winegarten, Renee. Mme. de Stael. Dover, N.H.: Berg, 

1985. 



A TRIVULZIO, CRISTINA 

(Princess Christina Trivulzio Belgiojoso) 

(1808-1871) Italian publisher 
and journalist 

The unification of the several Italian city-states under 
one flag consumed the life of aristocrat Cristina 
Trivulzio. She established newspapers as propaganda 
vehicles abroad to help drive home the fight for unifi- 
cation in Italy. She founded the Gazetta Italiana in 
1843 and contributed articles to the Constitutionnel 
and the Revue des deux mondes (review of the two 
worlds). Between 1842 and 1846, she published 
Essai sur la formation du dogme Catholique (essay on 
the formation of the Catholic church). In the 19th 
century, newspapers and politics were traditionally 
the venue of men, not women. Historian Beth 
Archer Brombert described the patriotic Cristina 
Trivulzio as "a threat to masculine domination, an 
offense to masculine vanity." 

Born in Milan, Cristina descended from Gian 
Giacomo Trivulzio, governor of Milan under Louis 
XII (1462-1515) of France; her father, Gerolamo 
Trivulzio, was an official at the court of Napoleon's 
(1769-1821) governor of Milan. He died in 1812, 
four years after Cristina's birth. His only heir, 
Cristina inherited the Trivulzio palace and lands: it 
was one of the wealthiest estates in the Lombardy. 



139 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



With Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Milan 
returned to Austrian rule. 

Gerolamo Trivulzio's widow, Vittoria Gherardini, 
remarried after two years. Her new husband, 
Milanese aristocrat Alessandro Visconti d'Aragona, 
had built the first steamboat to navigate the Po River. 
His political sentiments favored the removal of Aus- 
trian rule over Lombardy. His arrest and imprison- 
ment when Cristina was only 13 solidified the 
animosity she felt toward imperial rule. Her stepfa- 
ther thus influenced Cristina's political sentiments. 

Historians find very little information about 
Cristina's childhood. It is supposed that she received 
a typical education for one of her class: French, 
Latin, music, painting, literature. She took up the 
scientific interests of her stepfather and the musical 
skills of her mother. 

At age 15, Cristina fell for a handsome prince: it 
was an attraction she would later regret. Prince 
Emilio Barbiano di Belgiojoso d'Este hailed from a 
family even older than the Trivulzio clan; his prede- 
cessors were princes of the Holy Roman Empire. 
Unfortunately, the marriage turned sour when 
Cristina discovered the prince's infidelities. She had 
received a warning from a friend on the morning of 
her wedding, in the form of this verse: 

Can it thus be true, lovely Cristina? 
A princely morsel is what you wanted: 
But how he debases you, oh bitter fate! 
For when he has taken his pleasure with you, 
He will go off wantonly with this woman 

and that, 
And in vain will we hear you cry for help . . . 

The couple separated permanently in 1830. 

Free from the confines of marriage, Cristina 
became embroiled in politics. Politics in Italy during 
the 1 9th century involved questions of Italian unity. 
Italy today is a nation stretching geographically from 
the Alps in the north to the tip of the Italian "boot" 
in the Mediterranean Sea (including the island of 
Sicily). But previous to the 1860s, the Italian nation 
did not exist; instead, small kingdoms ruled regions, 
united by common languages and cultures. The call 
for uniting these kingdoms under one government 



began, ironically, when many of the kingdoms were 
controlled first by France and then by Austria. 

During Napoleon's empire (1804-14), which was 
established first in France and then in much of the 
rest of western Europe, administrative and judicial 
reforms extended from France to Italy with the intro- 
duction of the Code Napoleon, a set of laws designed 
to unify his empire. The demand for more demo- 
cratic institutions led to insurrections against French 
rule in various Italian cities. When control was trans- 
ferred from Napoleon (with his defeat at Waterloo) 
to Austria, patriotic nationalist groups in Venice and 
Milan revolted again. 

Brought up from birth in an Italian nationalist 
family, Cristina participated in a failed revolt against 
Austria in 1831. Seeing firsthand that propaganda, 
distributed internationally, could make the difference 
in liberating Italy, she went to Paris to work as a pro- 
pagandist, writing articles and pamphlets campaign- 
ing for political justice and a constitutional, 
monarchical government for Italy. 

From 1835 to 1843, Cristina became one of many 
women, such as Madame de STAEL, who ran salons in 
Paris. She reveled in the attention her ideas received 
among French intellectuals, but, ever conscious of how 
she could help the cause of Italian unity, she deter- 
mined to create a wider network of idea exchanges. A 
newspaper offered just such an exchange. In 1843, she 
began publication of the Gazetta Italiana. The newspa- 
per's objective — to awaken people's political conscious- 
ness and transmit a broad spectrum of political ideas — 
was met by some of the major figures of the Italian 
Risorgimento (as the movement for Italian unity was 
called), including Cesare Balbo (1789-1853). Balbo 
advocated a more moderate and antirevolutionary 
avenue to independence from Austria (for example, he 
suggested that Austria be compensated for its lost terri- 
tory in the event of Italian independence, and that the 
interests of the Catholic Church should be safe- 
guarded). The Gazetta Italiana met with only partial 
success. It appeared from February to December 1845 
as a triweekly, and then, under the name Rivista Ital- 
iana, as a monthly; it ceased publication in 1848. 
Brombert argues that the paper had financial difficul- 
ties because its backers would not commit sufficient 



140 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



funds to a paper managed by a woman. Trivulzio also 
contributed articles written in French to the Constitu- 
tionnel and the Revue des deux mondes. 

Between 1842 and 1846 she published a four- 
volume study, Essai sur la formation du dogme 
Catholique. The Italian princess had long been inter- 
ested in the early Catholic church fathers, and this 
massive, if rambling, study focuses on the life and 
thought of St. Augustine (354-430). "In her icono- 
clastic summary of St. Augustine," writes Brombert, 
"one feels the deep indignation of a defender of the 
Catholic Church, and primarily of its crucial doc- 
trine of God's infinite mercy," which Trivulzio felt 
Augustine did not truly understand. 

Meanwhile, patriotic sentiments again engulfed 
Italy, especially in Cristina's native Milan. This time, 
the king of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto, supported the 
uprisings against Austria with the help of volunteers 
from various parts of Italy; Cristina organized and 
financed a legion of volunteers in Naples, which she 
led to Milan. The following year she went to Rome, 
where she nursed wounded rebels. 

The struggle for unity continued. In Tuscany, 
Sicily, and Venice, republics had been established in 
the place of kingdoms. But this time, both Austrian 
and French troops intervened to restore royalty and 
destroy the republican governments. 

With the revolutions of 1 848 ending in defeat for 
the nationalists, Cristina fled to Paris. She realized, 
long before other Italians, that the press could be 
utilized as a tool of propaganda. She returned to 
Milan in 1855, after receiving word that her lands 
had been restored to her. She decided to participate 
in the launching of a new, French-language newspa- 
per, L'ltalie, in 1859, modeled after English and 
French papers, that would promote the righteous- 
ness of Italian unity abroad. Finally, in 1861, patri- 
ots proclaimed the birth of the United Kingdom of 
Italy (although the cities of Rome and Venice had 
not yet been won). In 1871, Cristina died, a proud 
citizen of the united Italy she had helped to create. 

Further Reading 

Brombert, Beth Archer. Cristina: Portraits of a Princess. 
New York: Knopf, 1977. 



Gattey, Charles Neilson. Bird of Curious Plumage: Princess 
Cristina di Belgiojoso. London: Constable, 1971. 

Whitehouse, H. Remsen. A Revolutionary Princess, 
Christina Belgiojoso-Trivulzio, Her Life and Times. Lon- 
don: T. F. Unwin, 1906. 



& TUCHMAN, BARBARA (Barbara 
Wertheim Tuchman) 
(1912-1989) American historian 

A Pulitzer Prize— winning historian, Barbara Tuch- 
man chose an alternate route to pursue her passion 
for writing about history. After she graduated from 
Radcliffe College in 1933, she did not follow the 
usual academic trail through graduate degrees and a 
tenure-track position at a university: instead, she 
"went out into the field" where history was being 
made to observe the power plays unfolding between 
nations and their leaders. Because she lacked a Ph.D. 
in history, many historians do not include her among 
their ranks (the massive, two-volume 1999 Encyclope- 
dia of Historians and Historical Writing, for example, 
does not include an entry on Tuchman). Neverthe- 
less, Tuchman's lively narrative style, heightened by 
her flair for the dramatic, achieved what many aca- 
demic historians can only dream about — a wide 
audience of devoted readers who buy her books 
about history again and again. 

Tuchman bucked two important historiographical 
trends that developed during her career: quantification 
and social history. The methodology of quantification 
allowed historians to enumerate and create statistics 
that served as evidence to buttress their claims (for 
example, a historian trying to show social mobility in a 
particular neighborhood might develop a chart to show 
rising income levels among inhabitants). Social history 
looked at the lives of "ordinary" people, rather than the 
"movers and shakers" who formed the basis of tradi- 
tional history. Tuchman was not interested in either 
one. She stuck to traditional, narrative forms of histori- 
cal writing, and, for the most part, she wrote about the 
great lives of men and women whose decisions affected 
the ordinary and extraordinary lives of the past. 

Tuchman came from a long line of public activists 
and servants. Her grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, 



141 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



Sr., was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey in the early 
20th century, and her uncle, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., 
became secretary of the treasury during President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. Born on Jan- 
uary 30, 1912, in New York City to Maurice 
Wertheim, an investment banker and art collector, 
and his wife Alma Morgenthau Wertheim, Tuchman 
was one of three daughters. 

Tuchman attended the Walden School in New 
York City during her childhood. She began her col- 
lege career at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, 
but when she discovered that Jewish people were not 
allowed to join the fraternities and sororities that 
dominated campus life there, she quickly transferred 
to Radcliffe, where she earned a degree in history and 
literature. Her first job after graduation was a volun- 
tary position with the American Council of the Insti- 
tute of Pacific Relations. The job took her to Tokyo, 
where she began writing articles for Institute publica- 
tions, such as Far Eastern Survey and Pacific Affairs. 

When she returned to the United States, she 
accepted a position with The Nation, a liberal, pro- 
gressive magazine that her father saved from bank- 
ruptcy in 1935. In 1937, the journal sent its newest 
editorial assistant to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil 
War (1936-39), a conflict that pitted General Fran- 
cisco Franco's Fascists, supported by the Fascist dicta- 
tors Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini 
in Italy, against Republicans — also called Loyalists — 
who wanted to retain a republican form of govern- 
ment. The assignment became a turning point in 
Tuchman's life. 

Like Martha GELLHORN, Tuchman's reportage 
emphasized the struggles faced by ordinary citizens 
during the bloody conflict. However, the larger polit- 
ical ramifications soon caught Tuchman's attention, 
and she shifted her focus to the ideological con- 
flicts — Fascism and anti-Fascism — underpinning the 
war. Settling briefly in London, Tuchman wrote 
weekly bulletins for the Spanish government, while 
also working on her first book, The Lost British Pol- 
icy: Britain and Spain Since 1700 (1938). The book 
argued that Great Britain should work actively to 
keep the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler out of 
Spain. Tuchman's publications frequently used a cur- 



rent political crisis (in this case, the threat of Fascism) 
as a backdrop to history (relations between England 
and Spain since 1700). 

When Franco's forces triumphed, the experience 
felt, to Tuchman, like the scales had dropped from 
her eyes. Whereas previously the young writer 
believed in the conquest of the forces of good over 
evil, she began to understand and accept the facts of 
realpolitik, or the prevalence of power politics over 
politics based on morality. She unleashed her fury 
with conservative American politicians and the press 
in a piece called "We Saw Democracy Fail," in which 
she blamed Western democracies for abandoning the 
Spanish Loyalists. Her sense of the need for activist 
governments informed her later work. 

In the meantime, however, Tuchman returned to 
the United States and married physician Lester R. 
Tuchman in 1940. The couple had three children. 
Although she found that raising children restricted 
her working time, she also acknowledged that, were 
the Tuchmans unable to afford domestic services, she 
would not have been able to write at all. Tuchman 
worked for six years on her second book, Bible and 
Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to 
Balfour (1956), a work drawn from her personal 
interest in the creation of the state of Israel. 

Her next two books won Pulitzer Prizes, bringing 
Tuchman into the public eye. The Guns of August 
(1962) explored events leading up to World War I, 
and Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 
1941-1945 (1971), reflected Tuchman's continuing 
interest in Asian politics. Perhaps her best-known 
books, Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the 
War, 1890-1914 (1966) and A Distant Mirror: The 
Calamitous Fourteenth Century (1978) feature Tuch- 
man's sense of the dramatic rise of the forces of good, 
the transformation of good to evil, and the subse- 
quent decline of human societies: in other words, the 
drama of human history. 

Tuchman completed her last book, The First 
Salute, about the American Revolution, in 1988, a 
year before she died of a heart condition at her 
home in Connecticut on February 6, 1989. The 
book appeared on the New York Times best-seller list 
for 17 weeks. 



142 



JOURNALISTS, DIARISTS, AND HISTORIANS 



Further Reading Tuchman, Barbara. The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the 

World Before the War, 1890 to 79M New York: Macmil- 
Barbara Tuchman, Historian. Washington, D.C.: National 1 logg 

Public Radio, 1984. Audiocassette, 60 minutes. a World of Ideas, with BillMoyers and Barbara Tuchman. Pro- 

Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 24. duced by Kate Roth Knull. Washington, D.C.: Public 

Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. Affairs Television, Inc., 1989. Videocassette, 30 minutes. 



143 



6 



Performers 



PERFORMERS 



A ARGENTINITA, LA (Encarnacion 
Lopez Julvez) 

(c. 1895-1945) Spanish dancer 
and choreographer 

La Argentinita developed regional Spanish folk 
dances as a concert form of dance during her nearly 
50-year career as Spain's premier dancer. Most of 
her dances imitated the Gypsy dancers who taught 
her their folk dances while she was a young girl. 
Argentinita demonstrated the rich diversity of all 
Spanish dance forms, including classical, flamenco, 
and regional styles. She specialized in the bosquejo 
(sketch), a blend of mime, comedy, singing, and 
dance. Dance critic Margaret Lloyd noted that at a 
time when the Italians, Russians, and French 
seemed more interested in Spanish dance than the 
Spaniards, La Argentinita made Spanish folk danc- 
ing an art form. 

Born to Castilian-Spanish parents in Buenos Aires, 
Argentina, Encarnacion Lopez Julvezs parents returned 
to Spain where, as a little girl, La Argentinita acquired 
the nickname that would later become her stage name. 
She studied regional Spanish dances and began per- 
forming at the age of six. She never studied dance for- 
mally but took all her lessons from the Gypsies, whose 
folk styles she made her own. Gypsies are a migratory, 
Romany-speaking dark Caucasian people originating 
in northern India but now living all over the world, 
especially in Europe. Gypsies, stereotyped as lawless 
and dirty, have historically been denied space in Euro- 
pean villages to set up their camps because of prevailing 
prejudices — hence the derogatory English word for 
migratory person, "gypsy." Spain and Wales, however, 
have been more accepting of Gypsies and are now cited 
as places where Gypsies have assimilated with local 
populations. By learning and practicing Gypsy folk 
dances, Argentinita achieved a measure of fame while 
still in her teens, when dance aficionado Jacinto 
Benavente dubbed her "queen of the dance." 

During the 1920s and 1930s, La Argentinita and 
several artists and poets, such as the writer Jose 
Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), composer Manuel de 
Falla (1876-1946), and poet dramatist Federico Gar- 
cia Lorca (1898-1936), formed an intellectual circle 



interested in gathering and celebrating Spain's cul- 
tural heritage in the face of increasing social unrest. 
Lorca and Argentinita collected regional Spanish 
dances and recorded Spanish folk songs: Lorca played 
his piano while Argentinita sang the verses. Argen- 
tinita worked with dancer and dramatist Martinez 
Sierra's theater group and then formed her own dance 
company. She revived long-forgotten Spanish plays, 
infusing them with a fresh sense of style and humor. 

In 1927, Argentinita formed another dance com- 
pany, this time a group devoted solely to Gypsy 
dances. The company toured all over Europe and Latin 
America, picking up and incorporating American 
interpretations of Latin dances along the way. In 1930, 
Argentinita debuted in Lew Leslie's International Revue 
in New York City, but her style initially went unappre- 
ciated by U.S. audiences. New York dance enthusiasts 
were used to Spanish dancers wearing flashy, showy 
costumes; La Argentinita, however, preferred an 
understated style, and she wore a plain gown. She 
rebounded later with a series of short concerts favor- 
ably reviewed by dance critics. 

Argentinita and her partner, Federico Garcia 
Lorca, formed the Madrid Ballet in hopes of further 
popularizing and preserving Spanish dances in 1932. 
Pilar Lopez, Argentinita's younger sister, joined the 
company the following year. Most of the members of 
the Madrid Ballet, however, were Gypsies. Argen- 
tinita choreographed a number of dances for the 
company's tour through Europe, including El Brujo 
(the magician) and a dramatic flamenco dance called 
Las Calles de Cddiz (the streets of Cadiz). 

The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) interrupted 
Madrid Ballet's performance schedules and touring 
plans. The Spanish military launched a revolt against 
the Republican government of Spain, supported by 
conservative elements within the country. The rebel 
Nationalists received aid from Nazi Germany and 
Fascist Italy. Federico Garcia Lorca left Madrid and 
returned to his home in Granada in 1936, but he was 
taken into custody by Nationalist forces controlling 
the town because of his sympathy with the Republi- 
can cause. The complete circumstances surrounding 
his execution in August 1936 remain a mystery. 
Argentinita lost a close friend and business partner. 



146 



PERFORMERS 



Lorca's assassination precipitated Argentinita's 
departure for a London performance in 1937. She 
then returned to the United States with her sister Pilar 
Lopez, dancer Antonio de Triana, and guitarist Carlos 
Montoya. The critical and public praise she won dur- 
ing her second U.S. tour assured her return every year 
until her death. Her most popular repertoire included 
El Huayno, a Peruvian dance; a comic Mazurka of 
1890; L'Espagnolade, a satire of Spanish dances; and 
her own choreographed performance of Bolero, featur- 
ing Maurice Ravel's music. Later, she included her 
dances from Carmen, which she had choreographed 
for the Mexican National Opera in 1942. 

When she stopped performing in 1945, Argentinita 
turned to choreographing full time. She created Picture 
of Goya, based on the Spanish artist Francisco Goya 
(1746-1828), and Cafe de Chinitas, a satire of the 
rivalry between two flamenco dancers, La Majorana 
and La Coquinera. When Argentinita died of cancer, 
she bequeathed the dance world a repertory of choreo- 
graphed Spanish dances and ballet companies in Spain 
to rival any other European city. Her sister continued 
her legacy by returning to Spain after Argentinita's 
death and founding Ballet Espanol in 1946. 

Further Reading 

Denby, Edwin. "To Argentinita, Passing Star," New York 
Herald Tribune (Sept. 20,1945). 

Pohren, D. E. Lives and Legends of Flamenco: A Biographi- 
cal History. Madrid: Society of Spanish Studies, 1988. 

Thomas, Katherine. "Anda jaleo, jaleo! The Flamenco Song 
and Dance Lineage of Federico Garcia Lorca and La 
Argentinita," UCLA Journal of Dance Ethnology 19 
(1995): 24-33. 

A BACH, ANNA MAGDALENA 
(Anna MagdalenaWulken Bach) 

(1701—1760) German musician 

Anna Magdalena Bach, described in The New Grove 
Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "a loyal and indus- 
trious collaborator" to her husband Johann Sebastian 
Bach, gave up a bright future in music to forward her 
husband's career. In addition, Anna Magdalena Bach 
cared for Bach's four children by his first marriage, as 
well as the 13 children she had during her marriage. For 



the brief period during which she worked as a musi- 
cian, she provided the court of Prince Leopold of 
Anhalt-Kothen with songs sung in her breathtaking 
soprano voice. Anna Magdalena Bach is best known as 
the recipient of two volumes of the Anna Magdalena 
Notebook, dated 1722 and 1725. The notebooks are 
compilations of keyboard pieces and songs, many of 
which were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Anna Magdalena, born on September 22, 1701, 
was the youngest daughter of Johann Caspar Wulken, a 
court trumpeter, and Margaretha Elisabeth Liebe. Bach 
descended from musicians on both her maternal and 
paternal sides; Margaretha Liebe's father was an organ- 
ist, and her brother, J. S. Liebe, was a trumpeter and the 
organist at two churches at Zeitz from 1694 to 1742. 
Anna Magdalena married Johann Sebastian Bach 
(1685-1750) in 1720; she was his second wife. Since 
the autumn of 1720, Magdalena had graced the con- 
cert halls with her lyrical soprano in the employ of 
Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen (1700-51). (Anhalt- 
Kothen was a tiny principality north of Leipzig, Ger- 
many.) Magdalena had performed her first solo in the 
Kothen court at age 16. After her wedding, Bach con- 
tinued working for Prince Leopold, alongside her new 
husband, who at the time was Kothens court conduc- 
tor and musical director. Bach, who had been married 
to his cousin Maria Barbara Bach (1684-1720), 
brought four children to the marriage. 

Music historians surmise that Johann Sebastian 
Bach gave his wife a book of keyboard music called 
the Clavierbuchlein (piano notebook), better known 
as the Anna Magdalena Notebook, in 1722. Twenty- 
five leaves of the book, or about one- third of the orig- 
inal manuscript, survives today. The title page is 
presumed to have been written by Anna Magdalena. 
The second notebook is dated 1725. For Bach, music 
was an expression of faith. As this verse from the 
Anna Magdalena Notebook indicates, Bach also har- 
bored tender feelings for his wife: 

If thou be near, I go rejoicing 
To peace, and rest beyond the skies. 
Nor will I fear what may befall me, 
For I will hear thy sweet voice call me, 
Thy gentle hand will close my eyes. 



147 



PERFORMERS 



Johann Sebastian Bach's primary duty at Kothen 
was to conduct the court orchestra, in which Prince 
Leopold himself participated. Shortly after Anna Mag- 
dalena married Bach, however, Prince Leopold also 
wed, a move that changed the couples lives. Leopold 
married Princess Frederike Henriette of Anhalt-Bern- 
burg, a woman described by Bach as not caring for 
music or art. Bach's biographers have conjectured that 
the princess may have been jealous of the close relation- 
ship between Leopold and Bach, for she drew her hus- 
band's attention away from music and toward her own 
interests; consequently, Bach felt less and less useful at 
court. In 1722, when Johann Kuhnau, the cantor 
(music director) of the St. Thomas church in Leipzig, 
Germany, died, Bach found out that he was being con- 
sidered as a replacement. He quickly accepted the job, 
and the Bach family moved to Leipzig. 

For Bach, the move could not have been more prov- 
idential. While he had enjoyed his time at the secular 
court of Leopold, he missed the church surroundings 
that influenced his music. Moreover, Leopold was a 
Calvinist, and Bach wanted to bring up his children in 
a Lutheran atmosphere. His new duties, which 
included providing music for St. Thomas and St. 
Nicholas churches, put him in his element. 

For Anna Magdalena, however, leaving the court 
of Kothen meant the loss of her career and of her 
ability to earn money on her own (though she earned 
only half of her husband's salary). At Kothen, she 
could sing opera music, her real love; in Leipzig, she 
could not sing publicly at all, for women were not 
allowed to perform in Leipzig's churches. 

Over the next 28 years, Anna Magdalena gave birth 
to 13 children (seven of whom died), tidied the Bach 
household, practiced playing a keyboard and singing, 
and copied music for her husband. Some of Bach's 
biographers have surmised that she may have influ- 
enced her children's careers, because her youngest son, 
Johann Christian Bach (1735-82) composed operas 
during his career. 

Anna Magdalena's last years with her husband, and 
those she spent as a widow, were filled with sorrow and 
heartache. Johann Sebastian Bach began losing his eye- 
sight around 1745, when Prussian armies laid siege to 
Leipzig and surrounding areas during the War of the 



Austrian Succession (1740-48). The year before he 
died, Bach became totally blind, leaning on his wife for 
security and comfort. When he died in 1750, she was 
there, as Bach himself had written years before, to close 
his eyes. 

Shortly after his funeral, Anna Magdalena 
announced her intention not to marry again, despite 
her dire financial situation. Bach had left no will; by 
law, one-third of his paltry estate went to his widow. 
She also received half of his salary every year, but she 
had creditors to pay off and three children remaining 
in her care. She died on February 27, 1760, accord- 
ing to one biographer, "an alms woman." 

Further Reading 

Geiringer, Karl. The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Cre- 
ative Genius. New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. 

Spitta, Philipp. johann Sebastian Bach. New York: Dover 
Publications, 1951. 

Young, Percy M. The Bachs, 1500-1850. New York: Crow- 
ell Co., 1970. 



& BAKER, JOSEPHINE (Freda J. McDonald) 

(1906—1975) American/ French dancer, 
social activist 

Like many African-American expatriates of her time, 
Josephine Baker found a climate much more accepting 
of African-American music and dance in Paris. She left 
the United States because of the racial discrimination 
she witnessed, and because she knew she could not 
reach her potential as a star within its borders. Baker 
helped popularize African-American culture in France 
during the 1920s, inventing her own style of erotic 
dance. During World War II (1939-45), Baker 
worked as a spy for the French Resistance, winning the 
Croix de Guerre (war cross) and the Legion d'Hon- 
neur (legion of honor) awards for her efforts. 

Accounts of Baker's childhood differ. She was born 
Freda J. McDonald on June 3, 1906, in Female Hos- 
pital (formerly the St. Louis Social Evil Hospital, a 
treatment center for prostitutes with venereal disease) 
in East St. Louis, Illinois, a mostly poor, African- 
American section of St. Louis. Her mother, Carrie 
McDonald, an aspiring singer and dancer, took in 



148 



PERFORMERS 



laundry to make ends meet. Baker's paternity is 
unclear; her birth certificate lists her father only as 
"Edw." Eddie Carson, a jazz drummer, may have been 
her father; Baker herself names Eddie Moreno as her 
father. Some biographers describe her father as atten- 
tive and loving; others say he was distant and cold. 

Josephine, as she preferred to be called, began work- 
ing at the age of eight as a domestic, sleeping in her 
employer's coal cellar. She was able to return to school 
two years later. As a young girl, she wanted to become a 
dancer, but first and foremost she sought a way out of 
St. Louis. She and her mother witnessed the 1917 East 
St. Louis riot in which 39 blacks and nine whites were 
killed in a race riot over scarce housing and jobs. 

By 1922, Baker left Illinois for the East Coast to 
establish herself as an entertainer. She started by danc- 
ing in vaudeville shows in Philadelphia, where her 
grandmother lived. Later, she moved to New York to 
join the Noble Sissle (1889-1975) and Eubie Blake 
(1883-1983) touring show Shuffle Along, the first all- 
African-American musical (the show broke racial barri- 
ers when for the first time, black audiences sat in 
theater sections that were reserved for whites only). 
After the tour ended, Baker danced at nightclubs such 
as the Plantation Club and the Cotton Club in New 
York City's African-American community of Harlem. 

Harlem in the late 1910s and 1920s was a mecca 
for African-American artists, writers, musicians, and 
entertainers. African-American culture flourished 
with the creation of an artistic community, sustained 
to a degree by the patronage of white New Yorkers. 
However, as a sign of continuing discrimination even 
in Harlem, cabarets such as the Cotton Club hired 
black waiters, cooks, and entertainers but did not 
serve black customers. 

During World War I (1914-18), many African 
Americans, especially those who served in the armed 
forces such as bandleader James Reese (1881-1919) 
and Noble Sissle, took note of the liberal attitudes 
toward racial differences prevalent in France and simply 
never returned home. Others, such as Josephine Baker, 
caught wind of the different racial climate in France 
and decided to take their talents abroad. Baker had 
already arranged an engagement at the Theatre des 
Champs Elysees as a dancer with La Revue Negre (the 



Negro Revue), in which she choreographed her famous 
"banana dance." Wearing only a string of bananas 
around her waist (which she later shed) and a perpetual 
grin on her face, Baker gyrated to the erotic rhythms of 
a sultry jazz accompaniment. Not long after her debut, 
entrepreneurs began peddling Josephine Baker banana 
dolls. After obtaining French citizenship in 1937, she 
opened her own nightclub, Chez Josephine. 

Josephine Baker entered a new phase of her career 
during World War II. With the rise of fascism in 
Europe, she became a symbol for the uncensored arts. 
When Germany invaded France, she joined the 
French Resistance against Nazism, working as an 
underground courier and traveling to Spain, Portu- 
gal, and England. She won her greatest coup when 
she delivered the original Italian-German code book 
to the French Resistance. On her way to Casablanca 
in 1940, she contracted peritonitis and underwent 
one of several abortions. After recovering, she enter- 
tained troops in North Africa and the Middle East. 
General Charles de Gaulle presented her with the 
Croix de Guerre and the Legion d'Honneur when 
she returned to France. 

In 1950 she and her third husband, industrialist 
Jean Lion, purchased a 300-acre estate, "Les Milandes," 
in the Dordogne region of France. The couple sepa- 
rated after one month, but Baker was determined to 
have a family of her own. She adopted several children 
of various races, calling them her "rainbow family." 

Baker had returned now and again to the United 
States, usually to appear in the Ziegfeld Follies as a cho- 
rus girl. When she came to the United States for an 
extended stay in 1951, she experienced several instances 
of racial discrimination, the most notorious of which 
occurred at a New York nightclub called The Stork 
Club. Baker entered the establishment with three oth- 
ers: Bessie Buchanan, a former chorus girl and the first 
black elected to the New York state assembly, and 
Roger and Solange Rico, musicians. The party took 
their seats, but could not get anyone to wait on them. 
When they finally ordered, they were repeatedly told 
that the food they wanted was not available. Baker was 
furious, and threatened to sue the restaurant for dis- 
crimination. Walter Winchell (1897-1972), a noted 
newspaper columnist, witnessed the event and blasted 



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Baker in a column, referring to her as a communist. As 
Baker told a reporter in Buenos Aires, "The U.S. is not 
a free country. They treat Negroes as though they were 
dogs." The African-American community of Harlem 
honored her by declaring May 21, 1951 to be 
Josephine Baker Day. 

Baker remained an entertainer until she died in Paris 
on April 12, 1975. Janet Flanner, author of Paris Was 
Yesterday, summed up the significance of Josephine 
Baker's life best by noting that Baker was the first to 
embody the notion that "black is beautiful." In 2001, 
her adopted city of Paris dedicated a city square, the 
"Place Josephine Baker," as a lasting tribute. 

Further Reading 

Haney, Lynn. Naked at the Feast: A Biography of Josephine 

Baker. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1981. 
In Black & White. Written by Russ Karel and Gordon 

Parks. Produced by Sara Patterson. Princeton, N.J.: 

Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1997. Videocas- 

sette, 92 mins. 
Rose, Phyllis, jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker in Her Time. 

New York: Doubleday, 1989. 



A BERNHARDT, SARAH (Henriette-Rosine 
Bernard) 

(1844—1923) French stage and screen actress 

Sarah Bernhardt became one of the most celebrated 
actors in the history of dramatic acting. Her range, 
depth of emotion, and personal charisma on stage 
helped to shape the modern theater. The fact that she 
was a woman also brought the acting profession into 
the modern era, by making female stars more visible, 
and by opening up the acting profession for the 
younger actresses that followed her. Bernhardt's fiery, 
frizzy red hair, alluring voice, spitfire personality, and 
boyish physique (at a time when hourglass figures 
were the ideal for women) made her a memorable fig- 
ure on stage and, briefly, on screen as well. 

The illegitimate daughter of a courtesan, Rosine 
Bernhard was born in Paris on October 22, 1844. 
She grew up in a convent and, when her acting tal- 
ents were discovered, attended the drama school at 
the Paris Conservatoire. In 1862, she made her the- 



atrical debut at the Theatre Fran^ais and changed her 
name to Sarah Bernhardt. She started her career 
rather poorly; few of the critics who reviewed her first 
performance registered much interest. Soon after, she 
left the Theatre Fran^ais after quarreling with man- 
agers. She tried — unsuccessfully — to launch a career 
as a burlesque actor. (Burlesques, sometimes misun- 
derstood as a dance in which the performer removes 
all of her clothing, were dramatic works that 
ridiculed a subject through exaggeration or imitation. 
Burlesques were associated with vaudeville entertain- 
ment for lower-class audiences, as opposed to the 
"highbrow" culture of theater.) 

Sarah Bernhardt persevered in acting and, finally, in 
1 869, her tenacity paid off. In that year, she appeared in 
a production of Francois Coppee's play Le Passant as the 
wandering minstrel Zanetto. Her reputation as an up- 
and-coming actor was reaffirmed three years later, 
when she played the queen in Victor Hugo's (1802-85) 
Ruy Bias. In the meantime, the Theatre Francais had 
changed management personnel and was renamed 
Comedie-Francaise. Bernhardt returned to the 
Comedie-Francaise, and her career soared. 

Bernhardt's acting career came into its bloom with 
modern theater in Europe. The acclaim of female 
actors was certainly part of this modernizing process. 
In addition, modern playwrights began to explore a 
greater depth of emotion in their actors, as well as 
techniques that enhanced individual roles. The mod- 
ern theater mirrored, and influenced, modern life, by 
focusing more and more on how individuals shape 
cultures and societies and the rights of individuals 
within those societies. Sarah Bernhardt had the skills 
that brought the elements of individual personality 
and emotion alive on stage. "The theater propagates 
new ideas," she wrote. "It arouses slumbering patriot- 
ism, it exposes turpitudes and abuses by sarcasm, 
educates the ignorant without their knowing it, stim- 
ulates those of little courage, strengthens faith, gives 
hope, and enjoins charity." 

Never satisfied with being an employee of the the- 
aters for which she worked, Bernhardt again struck 
out on her own in 1880. It was a bold move involv- 
ing many risks. Essentially, working under contract 
with a theater meant that actors had steady work and 



150 



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reliable incomes. As an independent, Bernhardt had 
to promote herself to obtain work at a variety of the- 
aters. She left for the United States and began the 
first of six tours, each wildly successful. 

Back in Paris, Bernhardt decided to operate her 
own theaters. At first, she managed the Theatre de la 
Renaissance; years later, in 1898, she sold her lease on 
that theater and purchased the Theatre des Nations 
(Theater of the Nations; it became known as the 
Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, until Nazi occupation of 
France during World War II (1939-45)). It was 
under the lights on the stage of this theater that the 
middle-aged Sarah Bernhardt played Shakespeare's 
young Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Theater critic 
Max Beerbohm, in a review of the play, made fun of 
Bernhardt by calling her "Hamlet, Princess of Den- 
mark" (apparently forgetting that during Shake- 
speare's time, Ophelia, the main female role in the 
play, would have been played by a man). Audiences, 
however, did not seem to notice that Bernhardt was a 
woman, or middle-aged; the play was a success. 

When not acting, Bernhardt wrote plays and her 
memoirs, in addition to painting and sculpting. Her 
personal life was as tempestuous as the lives she 
played on screen; she reportedly kept an open coffin 
by her bedroom window in which she lay to practice 
her parts. She gave birth to an illegitimate son, Mau- 
rice, by the Belgian Prince de Ligne in 1864; she had 
love affairs with artists Gustave Dore and Georges 
Clarin and actors Mounet-Sully, Lou Tellegen, and 
Jacques Damala (to whom she was briefly married in 
1882), and many others. 

At the age of 61, while performing in Rio de 
Janeiro, Brazil, Bernhardt suffered an injury to her right 
leg. By 1911, she could not move on stage without 
assistance. She walked with an artificial leg after doctors 
amputated the limb in 1915. During World War I 
(1914-18) she performed for soldiers at training 
camps, and she also appeared in several silent films. She 
gave her final performance in 1922, a year before her 
death in Paris on March 26, 1923. 

Further Reading 

Aston, Elaine. Sarah Bernhardt: A French Actress on the Eng- 
lish Stage. New York: Berg, St. Martin's, 1989. 



Baring, Maurice. Sarah Bernhardt. Westport, Conn.: 

Greenwood Press, 1970. 
Hope, Charlotte. The Young Sarah Bernhardt. New York: 

Roy Publishers, 1966. Young Adult. 



A BOULANGER, NADIA 

(1887-1979) French music teacher 
and conductor 

Nadia Boulanger dedicated her life to the teaching of 
music; some of the world's greatest musicians, such as 
Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) and Aaron Copland 
(1900-90), have been her pupils. "Her teaching has 
influenced generations of composers and generations 
of musicians who, in turn, influenced others," said 
the great Swiss tenor Hugues Cuenod. "I think that, 
in a way, it is something like a musical Christianity." 
Traveling to the United States later in life, she also 
began conducting orchestras. In 1939, she became 
the first woman to conduct the New York Philhar- 
monic Orchestra. 

Boulanger's life bridged two watershed eras of his- 
tory: the Victorian and the modern, post- World War I 
era. Looking solely at Boulanger's lifestyle, one might 
be tempted to say that she never left the Victorian 
period. Yet certainly in terms of her music, Boulanger 
promoted modernity. 

The daughter of a music composer and teacher, and 
a singer, Boulanger was born in Paris on September 
18, 1887. Her grandmother, Marie-Julie Hallinger, 
thrilled Parisiennes with her opera singing. Her father, 
Ernest Henri Alexandre Boulanger, won the prestigious 
Prix de Rome prize in music composing. Nadia's 
mother, Princess Raissa Michetsky, born in St. Peters- 
burg, Russia, took voice lessons with Monsieur 
Boulanger. The two met in St. Petersburg and returned 
to Paris to raise their family. Ernest Boulanger was 43 
years older than his wife, and he died when Nadia was 
still young. 

By the age of 13, Boulanger performed on piano 
and organ; at 17, she began teaching her younger sis- 
ter, Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), to play and compose 
for piano. Soon after, she decided to become a music 
teacher. She quit composing so that she could nurture 
her sister's composition talents, which she thought 



151 



PERFORMERS 



superior to her own (although she later admitted 
regretting the decision). More important, after her 
father's death, she and her mother and sister were left 
to earn money for the family. Lili's frequent illnesses 
precluded her from working, so Nadia became respon- 
sible for making a living for the three women. She 
believed that by teaching she could earn the most 
money. Lili Boulanger ultimately followed her father's 
footsteps and won the Grand Prix de Rome for her 
cantata, "Faust et Helene," in 1913. (The Prix de 
Rome involves isolating music students while they 
compose a cantata — a vocal and instrumental compo- 
sition made up of choruses and solos — which is then 
judged by a jury). Lili Boulanger died at the age of 24 
of Crohn's disease. 

Boulanger's decision to become a music teacher 
was a bold move. As Boulanger's biographer, Alan 
Kendall, has written, "Few women had ever had the 
temerity to strike out on their own in the world of 
music, a world almost totally dominated by men." 
In fact, she taught all day and into the night, taking 
on as many students as she could, so that she could 
earn as much as male teachers were getting — even 
though they worked only half as much. Boulanger's 
pupils are among the best-known musicians in the 
world: Philip Glass (1937- ), Yehudi Menuhin 
(1916-99), Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), and 
Quincy Jones (1933- ) are among them. 

In addition to being a world-renowned teacher, 
Nadia Boulanger's conducting won her kudos, as 
well. She was the first woman to conduct a symphony 
orchestra in London in 1937; in 1939, she became 
the first woman to conduct the New York Philhar- 
monic. She also held honorary doctorates from Har- 
vard and Oxford. 

Boulanger spent her life mourning her sister's 
death. She wore black mourning clothes until the day 
she died on October 22, 1979, at the age of 92. Her 
philosophy of music, too, seems more reflective of a 
bygone day: 

Nothing is better than music, when it takes us 
out of time, it has done more for us than we have 
a right to hope for. It has broadened the limits of 
our sorrowful life, it has lit up the sweetness of 



our hours of happiness by effacing the pettinesses 
that dominate us, bringing us back pure and new 
to what was, what will be. 

Yet in other ways, Boulanger promoted modernity 
through music. She harbored a lifelong love and 
admiration of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), a Russ- 
ian composer who stunned Paris audiences in 1913 
with his "Rite of Spring," a symphony which, due to 
its modern, atonal sounds, almost caused a riot. 
Boulanger premiered Stravinsky's concerto for wind 
instruments, "Dumbarton Oaks," in Washington, 
D.C., in 1938. 

Nadia Boulanger's dual-era qualities make her all 
the more interesting, and worthy of study, today. 

Further Reading 

Campbell, Don G. Master Teacher: Nadia Boulanger. Wash- 
ington, D.C.: Pastoral Press, 1984. 

Kendall, Alan. The Tender Tyrant, Nadia Boulanger: A Life 
Devoted to Music. Wilton, Conn.: Lyceum Books, 1977. 

Rosenstiel, Leonie. Nadia Boulanger: A Life in Music. New 
York: W. W. Norton, 1982. 

A CARRENO.TERESA (Teresa Maria 
Carrefio) 

(1853—1917) Venezuelan pianist 
and composer 

During her lifetime, music lovers all over the world 
knew Teresa Carrefio as a breathtaking performer of 
classical music. Students of the piano appreciated her 
talents as the eclectic composer of more than 30 
pieces, ranging from piano solos, waltzes, and hymns 
to compositions for string quartets. Carrefio's rela- 
tionship with her homeland of Venezuela, and with 
her four husbands, dictated many of the twists and 
turns her 50-year career took. Venezuela's volatile 
political situation pushed the Carrefio family to relo- 
cate in the United States in 1862. Twenty-three years 
later, Carrefio returned, but her circumstances caused 
her aristocratic audiences to shun her talents. After 
her death in 1917, amends were made between her 
countrymen and the memory of her disposition, and 
Carrefio's remains were interred with honor at the 
National Pantheon in Caracas, Venezuela. 



152 



PERFORMERS 



Born on December 22, 1853, in Caracas, Vene- 
zuela, to Manuel Antonio Carrefio, a lawyer, finance 
minister, and organist, Teresa Carrefio was the grand- 
daughter of Cayetano Carrefio, a composer and music 
director of the Caracas Cathedral. Her mother, 
Clorinda Garcia de Sena y Toro, belonged to an ancient 
aristocratic family of Spanish descent. Carrefio was 
the grandniece of "The Liberator," Simon Bolivar 
(1783-1830), who led revolutions against Spanish rule 
in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. Bolivar and his army 
defeated the Spanish in 1821; Venezuela became the 
independent Republic of Venezuela in 1830. 

From 1859 to 1863, Venezuela fought a civil war 
over the question of whether the nation should be 
ruled by a strong central government, or whether states 
should have more power. Intertwined in the question 
lay the fate of Venezuela's natural resources and trade 
within the country and with other nations. When the 
war disrupted Manuel Carrefio's career, he moved his 
family to New York in 1862. During the same year, 
Teresa Carrefio, who had been composing polkas and 
waltzes by her 10th birthday, held her first recital at 
Irving Hall in New York City. In 1863, two events 
marked the young prodigy's career: the Boston Phil- 
harmonic Society Orchestra invited her to perform in 
concerts, and the president of the United States, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, listened to her play at the White House. 

Given the kind of exposure she already had at a 
young age, the best-known pianist in the country, 
Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-69) took Carrefio 
as his student. In the meantime, she toured to many 
U.S. cities and Cuba. In 1866, the Carrefio family 
traveled to Europe, in order to introduce Teresa to 
the most stellar composers of the music world. In 
Paris, she met Franz Liszt (181 1—86), and Gioachini 
Antonio Rossini (1792-1868), the famous opera 
composer. Liszt offered to take Teresa as his student, 
but Manuel Carrefio could not remain in Europe 
longer, and he was not willing to leave his daughter 
behind. Liszt did, however, give Teresa advice that 
she remembered for the rest of her life: do not 
become a mere imitator of other people's perform- 
ances. Instead, he suggested, find your own style. 
From that moment on, Carrefio began infusing her 
recitals with a combination of lyrical feeling and pas- 



sionate power. Carrefio also developed her singing 
voice and appeared in an opera, Les Huguenots, in 
Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Before she turned 20, Carrefio embarked on a 
series of marriages that in some ways helped her 
career, but in some instances nearly destroyed it. In 
1872, Carrefio married the violinist Emile Sauret, 
who influenced her to compose a piece for string 
quartet. After she had given birth to two children, 
however, Sauret abandoned his family. In 1875, she 
married baritone Giovanni Tagliapetra and turned 
more of her attention to the opera. During their 12 
years together, she had three more children. 

At the invitation of the Venezuelan president, 
Teresa Carrefio returned to her homeland after a 23- 
year absence in 1885. She composed two hymns for 
the event, one of which honored the memory of her 
great uncle Simon Bolivar and is sometimes mistaken 
for the Venezuelan national anthem, "Gloria al bravo 
pueblo." The trip, however, went poorly. Her hus- 
band had scheduled several performances with his 
opera company in Venezuela, but ticket sales were 
poor and the company went into debt. To make mat- 
ters worse, the conductor stormed out of a rehearsal 
and disappeared. To save the company, Carrefio her- 
self took up the baton and conducted the final three 
weeks of performances. Venezuelan audiences were 
outraged at the sight of a woman performing in pub- 
lic; tabloids began publishing hurtful articles chiding 
the musician for being a divorced woman and for 
having married a "vulgar" Italian. 

Back in the United States, Carrefio's friends advised 
her to leave her husband and go to Germany, where her 
music would be appreciated. Carrefio took the advice: 
she left Tagliapetra, borrowed money from her admirer 
N. K. Fairbank, and left for Europe in 1889 with two 
of her children. She performed at the Berlin Sing 
Akademie to swooning audiences and critics. In 1891, 
she married Eugen d' Albert (1864-1932) a Scottish- 
born German pianist and composer. The couple had 
two daughters but divorced in 1895. From 1895 to 
1917, Carrefio toured worldwide. She married her for- 
mer brother-in-law, Arturo Tagliapetra, in 1902. 

After her death in New York on June 12, 1917, 
Carrefio's ashes were sent to Caracas and placed in 



153 



PERFORMERS 



Central Cemetery. In 1977, the Venezuelan govern- 
ment ordered her remains to be interred in the 
National Pantheon. Her Weber piano, built espe- 
cially for her, and her other personal items are on dis- 
play at the Teresa Carreno Museum in Caracas. 

Further Reading 

Chapin, Victor. Giants of the Keyboard. Philadelphia: J. B. 

Lippincott, 1969. 
Milinowski, Marta. Teresa Carreno: By the Grace of God. 

New York: Da Capo, 1977. 
The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, Julie 

Anne Sadie and Rhian Samuel, eds. New York: W. W. 

Norton, 1995. 



A FRANKLIN, ARETHA 

(1942— ) American soul singer 
and recording star 

In 1986, after she had won 17 Grammy awards and 
earned 24 gold records, the Michigan state legislature 
declared that the voice of its favorite daughter, Aretha 
Franklin, was among its most cherished natural 
resources. Aretha Franklin defined and popularized 
soul music for millions of American fans of popular 
music. In the late 1960s, toward the end of the Civil 
Rights movement in the U.S. (1954-64), Aretha 
Franklin — among other musicians — finally broke the 
racial barrier that had prevented white audiences from 
buying and listening to black music. Franklin's rendi- 
tion of Otis Redding's (1941-67) song "Respect" 
became the new national anthem of the African-Amer- 
ican community. The Southern Christian Leadership 
Conference, founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
(1928-68), awarded Franklin a citation for her per- 
formance of the song. 

In an interview with Time magazine in 1969, 
Franklin defined soul music as experiential. "If a 
song's about something I've experienced or that could 
have happened to me," she explained, "it's good. But 
if it's alien to me, I couldn't lend anything to it. 
Because that's what soul is about — just living and 
having to get along." 

Aretha Franklin's father, preacher Clarence La 
Vaughn Franklin, and her mother, Barbara Siggers 



Franklin, were both talented musicians. Aretha was 
born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. 
Franklin's mother left the family when Aretha was six; 
she died four years later. The family had relocated in 
Detroit in 1 944, where Aretha sang her first solo at her 
father's church, the New Bethel Baptist Church. Occa- 
sionally, Aretha and her father would take their gospel 
singing on tour through the midwest and south. The 
Reverend James Cleveland, director of a popular 
gospel quartet, coached her voice to reach its full 
potential: an incredible five-octave, 40-note range. 

Franklin became pregnant at the age of 15, and 
dropped out of high school to give birth and take 
care of her child. She named her baby boy after her 
father, Clarence Franklin. When she turned 18, she 
moved to New York City to pursue a singing career 
and to move her repertoire beyond strictly gospel 
music. Her father supported her choice. She quickly 
arranged her first recording contract with Columbia 
Records. Her relationship with executives and musi- 
cians at Columbia did not last long, however. Her 
record producers insisted on heavy orchestration as 
an accompaniment to her vocal arrangements, a 
choice with which Aretha disagreed (later, she 
explained how she approaches record producers: "if 
you're here to record me," she says, "then let's record 
me — and not you"). She left Columbia and switched 
to Atlantic Records, which allowed her to record soul 
music rather than orchestrated jazz. 

Al Bell, a recording executive at Atlantic Records, 
recognized in Franklin a person whose voice and music 
could puncture the color line. Most people in the 
recording industry knew that for years, white perform- 
ers such as Elvis Presley (1935-77) had been "covering" 
(some would say "ripping off") songs written and/or 
performed by African Americans. Presley's "Hound 
Dog," a tune first performed and recorded by Big 
Mama Thornton (1926—84), sold over a million 
records for Presley. In the 1940s and 1950s, many 
whites wanted to hear soul music but, due to racist atti- 
tudes, not as performed by African-American musi- 
cians. Bell realized, however, that by the mid-1960s, 
younger white audiences, perhaps lacking some of the 
prejudices of their parents, were beginning to listen to 
black artists, and he knew that Franklin had the poten- 



154 



PERFORMERS 



tial to make those numbers grow. Bell and others at 
Atlantic were happy to abide by Franklin's rule: record 
Aretha, and not someone else. 

Success could not have been more immediate. 
Franklin recorded "I Never Loved a Man the Way 
that I Love You" in 1967, and it became a top-40 hit. 
Other hits of the '60s included "I Say a Little Prayer" 
(1968) "Respect" (1968), and "Baby I Love You" 
(1969). In 1972 she returned to her gospel roots, 
recording a live gospel concert called Amazing Grace. 

In 1971, Franklin recorded a rendition of the song 
"Bridge Over Troubled Waters," offering perhaps the 
best contrast between the "soft" rock sound, also 
popular at the time, and soul music. Art Garfunkel 
(1941- ) and Paul Simon (1941- ) had recorded 
the immensely popular "Bridge over Troubled 
Water" in 1970. Franklin (in a kind of "reverse 
cover") took the song to a different place in her 
recording. Franklin's version strays wildly off the 
melody in a kind of "jazz riff" style that contrasts 
sharply with the duo's more harmonic approach to 
popular music. 

Franklin has made more than 30 albums in the 
course of her career, including Young, Gifted and 
Black (1972), which features autobiographical songs 
of her own composition. In 1984, the "Queen of 
Soul" won the American Music Award, and in 1992 
the Rhythm and Blues Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Further Reading 

Franklin, Aretha, and David Ritz. Aretha: From These Roots. 

New York: Villard, 1999. 
"Lady Soul: Singing It Like It Is," Time 91 (June 21, 

1968): 62-66. 
Southern, Eileen. Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American 

and Afican Musicians. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood 

Press, 1982. 



& GRAHAM, MARTHA 

(1894-1991) American dancer 
and choreographer 

"If Martha Graham ever gave birth," quipped one 
dance critic, "it would be to a cube." Martha Graham 
is to modern dance as Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is 



to the modern art school of cubism. Indeed, for 
many dance connoisseurs, Martha Graham is syn- 
onymous with modern dance. She developed innova- 
tions in structure, style, technique, costuming, and in 
the training of choreographers and dancers that 
defined the movement. She rejected the traditional 
view of women dancers as beautiful, lithe, and grace- 
ful, and instead she viewed female dancers as power- 
ful and intense. Her colleagues have described her 
long career as an American archetype, because with 
only a few exceptions, only Graham herself — or her 
company — ever performed her compositions, mak- 
ing Graham one of the most individualistic dance 
artists of the 20th century. 

Born on May 11, 1894, in Allegheny, Pennsyl- 
vania, and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Gra- 
ham began her formal training at Denishawn 
School of Dance, a Los Angeles academy started by 
the dancer Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968) and her 
partner Ted Shawn (1891-1972). In 1923, Graham 
left Los Angeles to join the Greenwich Village Fol- 
lies in New York, specializing in exotic Spanish and 
Indian dances. She taught dance for two years at the 
Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, 
all the while preparing herself for her debut as a 
soloist in 1926. 

Graham's varied and evolving career can be divided 
into four overlapping phases. In the first stage, which 
began after her debut, Graham choreographed short 
solos and group works for all-women companies. Most 
of these compositions were based on historical figures 
and styles of art. Her debut, for example, included two 
pieces called From a XII Century Tapestry and Maid 
with the Flaxen Hair. She also experimented with 
dances that explored a single emotion, such as lamen- 
tation (1930). In this piece, Graham developed one of 
her signature modern characteristics: manipulating 
costume to enhance the theme of her dance. lamenta- 
tion featured a tube-shaped piece of cloth that encased 
Graham from her neck to her feet. She remained 
seated throughout the dance, in which she struggled to 
rid herself of the tube. The dance, which has been sat- 
irized as often as it has been praised, viewed the process 
of grieving as being similar to feeling trapped in 
extreme sorrow, from which one searches for an 



155 



PERFORMERS 



escape. Critics have compared the dance to Kathe 
KOLLWITZs drawings of grieving women. 

The second phase of Graham's career coincided 
with her growing interest in the theater, with the 
drama of American history, and with the formation 
of her own dance company. She also began choreo- 
graphing for men; two male dancers, Erick Hawkins 
and Merce Cunningham, joined her troupe in the 
1930s. During the Great Depression in the United 
States (1930-41), some of President Franklin Roo- 
sevelt's New Deal programs focused on the arts in 
American culture. While Graham did not participate 
directly, her dances from this period reflected the 
focus on American history as worthy of artistic 
recording and celebrating. Her Appalachian Spring 
(1944), for example, depicted the pioneer experience 
in American history. 

In the third period of her career, which lasted 
from 1944 onward, Graham interwove two related 
themes in her work: Greek mythology and Freudian 
interpretations of myths (for more on the psychoana- 
lyst Sigmund Freud, see Anna FREUD). Most of the 
characters she focused on were women, and often, 
her dances had a feminist twist. For example, in 
Night Journey (1947), Graham portrays the female 
character Jocaste, in Sophocles' play Oedipus, as the 
victim, rather than Oedipus. Graham also produced 
two dances about JOAN OF ARC, The Triumph of St. 
Joan (1951) and Seraphic Dialogue (1955) . 

In the fourth and final phase of Grahams career, she 
returned to the abstract themes of her earlier period. 
These dances are not attached to any particular histori- 
cal figure or to a plot. Acrobats of God (1960) and Ado- 
rations (1975) both reflect Graham's signature dance 
techniques: spiral movements and linear stage patterns. 
The spiral movements were movements in which Gra- 
ham tended to view the human body as "collapsible," 
and the stage on which she performed as part of the 
dance, not a surface merely there to be danced upon. 
Unlike traditional choreography, her spiral movements 
involved fall sequences in which she emphasized the 
recovery from the fall, not the descent to the ground. 
The stage, then, often seemed as though it was a taut 
drum off of which Graham and her dancers would 
bounce. Furthermore, Graham choreographed dances 



in which she used her corps onstage as though they 
were architecture. For example, she would use a row of 
dancers, rather than a stage setting, to build a wall that 
moved when the scene changed. 

Martha Graham gave birth to modern dance, in 
the sense that she changed people's minds about what 
dancers — especially female dancers — could do. 
Whereas traditionally, female dancers had been used 
by choreographers to symbolize beauty and decora- 
tion, Graham de-sentimentalized the female body by 
emphasizing its power, intensity, and, in her fall 
sequences, its recovery from defeat. 

She died in New York City on April 1, 1991. 

Further Reading 

Acocella, Joan. "The Flame: The Fight Over Martha Gra- 
ham," New Yorker (Feb. 19, 2001): 180-195. 

De Mille, Agnes. Martha: The Life and Works of Martha 
Graham. New York: Random House, 1991. 

Graham, Martha. Blood Memory. New York: Doubleday, 
1991. 

Newman, Gerald, and Eleanor Newman Layfield. Martha 
Graham: Founder of Modern Dance. New York: Franklin 
Watts Inc., 1998. Young Adult. 



A KAN AWA,KI RITE 

(1944- ) New Zealander vocalist 

Before July 29, 1981, not many people outside the 
South Pacific islands knew the word Maori. On that 
day, soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, a New Zealander of 
Maori descent, sang George Handel's "Let the bright 
seraphim" while Prince Charles of Wales (1948- ) 
and his bride Lady Diana Spencer (1961-98) signed 
the wedding registry. Six hundred million television 
viewers watched Kiri Te Kanawa transform St. Paul's 
Cathedral into a musical heaven, while another few 
hundred thousand Londoners heard the performance 
from Covent Garden. While the royal marriage did 
not last, Kiri Te Kanawa continues to raise the roofs 
of theaters with a soprano voice that one music critic 
has described as "dome-splitting." 

Kiri Te Kanawa's mother, a New Zealand woman of 
Irish descent, and her father, a Maori man, gave up 
their daughter, whom they called Claire, for adoption 



156 



PERFORMERS 



shortly after her birth in Gisborne, New Zealand, on 
March 6, 1944. A couple of like origins adopted her. 
Kanawas mother, Nell Sullivan Te Kanawa, and her 
husband, Thomas Te Kanawa, named their daughter 
Kiri, a Maori word meaning "bell," a fitting name for a 
soon-to-be opera star. 

The Maori people, natives of the Pacific islands in 
the Southern Hemisphere, migrated to New Zealand 
around the ninth century. In 1840 the Maori ceded 
sovereignty to the British in return for legal protection 
and rights to perpetual ownership of Maori lands. Only 
the British crown could buy land from the Maori; an 
individual settler could not. By 1852, the British insti- 
tuted a government; during the 1860s the Maori 
fought the British over land that the British Crown 
claimed to have purchased. By the end of the 19th cen- 
tury, the Maori population accounted for only about 7 
percent of New Zealand's population, owning less than 
20 percent of the land. While outwardly New Zealand 
is racially harmonious, tensions continue to erupt over 
land rights for the Maori. Some Maoris have accepted 
compensation for the loss of their land. (For more on 
the Maori, see Sylvia ASHTON-WARNER). 

Kiri Te Kanawa spent the first 12 years of her life 
in Gisborne, New Zealand, where she was born. Nell, 
a musically talented woman, began giving her daugh- 
ter music lessons. Realizing Kiri's talents, she con- 
vinced her husband that the family should relocate to 
the city of Auckland, New Zealand. There, a 
respected music teacher, Sister Mary Leo, began 
tutoring Kanawa in music and training her voice. 
Where Sister Mary Leo heard an operatic voice, Kiri 
Te Kanawa heard a pop music star. Cabaret, a form of 
musical entertainment popular in the 1950s, com- 
bined singing and dancing in night clubs. Needless to 
say, Sister Mary Leo discouraged her protegee from 
pursuing this type of entertainment. 

Unconvinced, Kanawa earned money in Auck- 
land's cabarets. But soon she began to view her voice 
as an instrument in need of training in order to real- 
ize its full potential. Offered the chance to study 
music further in London, Kanawa began raising 
money to attend school by performing Maori songs, 
including her signature piece called "Pokerere-ana." 
At age 22, she arrived at the London Opera Centre, 



ready to train her voice for the opera stage. She began 
studying with Richard Bonynge, an instructor who 
changed her voice from mezzo soprano (a deeper 
sound) to a lyric soprano (a lighter, airier sound). 

In 1967, KiriTe Kanawa married Desmond Park, 
a mining engineer who stopped working in order to 
support Kiri's career by managing his wife's business 
affairs. Oddly, while Park supported her career 
wholeheartedly, he did not listen to her perform- 
ances; he did not care for opera. The couple adopted 
two children, Antonia Aroha (a Maori word meaning 
"happiness") and Thomas. 

In 1971, KiriTe Kanawa got her first big break. She 
was cast in the role of the Countess in a new produc- 
tion of the Mozart opera The Marriage of Figaro. The 
critics loved the production and Kanawas performance. 
Her next break came when Teresa Stratas, a soprano 
cast in the role of Desdemona in Shakespeare's play 
Othello, became ill. Kanawa substituted for her, after 
only three hours' notice. Her hard work paid off, as rave 
reviews hit the newsstands the following day. 

Today, most opera aficionados consider Kiri Te 
Kanawa to be the "owner" of the roles of the Countess 
in The Marriage of Figaro, Desdemona in Othello, and 
Arabella in Richard Strauss's opera by the same name. 
In 1996, Kanawa and Conrad Wilson collaborated on 
a book, Opera for Lovers, designed to introduce the 
world of opera to the unschooled listener. Divorced 
from her husband, she still resides in London. 

Further Reading 

Fingleton, David. Kiri Te Kanawa: A Biography. New York: 

Atheneum, 1983. 
Harris, Norman. Kiri: Music and a Maori Girl. Wellington, 

N.Z.: Reed, 1966. 
Jenkins, Garry, and Stephan D'Antal. Kiri: Her Unsung 

Story. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. 



A DE L'EPINE, MARGHERITA (Francesca 
Margherita de L'Epine, Fran^oise 
Marguerite de L'Epine) 

(c. 1680-1746) Italian opera singer 

The music critic H. Hawkins described the imposing 
stage presence of the Italian soprano Margherita de 



157 



PERFORMERS 



L'Epine as "remarkably swarthy, and so destitute of 
personal charms, that Dr. Pepusch, who afterwards 
married her, seldom called her by any other name 
than [the powerful Greek goddess] Hecate, which she 
answered very readily." The artist Marco Ricci 
(1676-1729) painted Margherita de L'Epine, along 
with other opera stars, in a composition he called The 
Rehearsal of an Opera (c. 1709). The painting 
includes various musicians at a keyboard and stringed 
instruments, peering confusedly over music and at 
each other. Perhaps to illustrate the famed rivalry 
between the English prima donna Catherine Tofts 
(1685-1756) and L'Epine, Ricci painted Tofts stand- 
ing at the harpsichord, poised and ready to deliver an 
aria, while L'Epine stands with her back to Tofts, idly 
chatting with her husband, her hand buried in a 
muff. Margherita de L'Epine was the first Italian 
singer to establish a reputation in London just as Ital- 
ian operas were being introduced to English audi- 
ences. She appeared in numerous English operas and 
masques (a form of entertainment usually depicting 
mythological characters), in addition to Italian lan- 
guage operas. L'Epine's celebrity during her life 
derived from her musical popularity and from her 
romantic liaisons, which were widely lampooned in 
the London press. 

L'Epine's birth date and ancestry are unknown. She 
sang in Venice from 1698 to 1700 and was also known 
as the virtuoso of the court at Mantua, in northern 
Italy. She came from Tuscany to London with her lover, 
the German composer Jakob Greber (1650-1731) (the 
poet laureate Nicholas Rowe, 1674-1718, mocked 
L'Epine as "base Greber's Peg") and her sister, singer 
Maria Gallia, in 1702. Her first appearance on a Lon- 
don stage took place on May 27, 1703, at Lincoln's 
Inn Fields in a play called The Fickle Shepherdess. She 
and Greber appeared together at the same theater, 
singing songs of his composition. In the autumn of 
1703, Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham (1647-1730) 
courted L'Epine, and she moved in with him at his 
home in Burley, England. From 1704 to 1708, how- 
ever, L'Epine relocated to London, where she sang and 
danced regularly at London's Drury Lane Theatre, and 
then at Queen's Theatre, where she remained until 
1714. Her repertoire included songs and cantatas 



(a composition written for one or more voices includ- 
ing solos, duets, and choruses, accompanied with an 
instrument) by the English composer Henry Purcell 
(c. 1659-1695) and the Italians Giovanni Bononcini 
(1670-1747) and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725). It 
was in this period that the competition with Catherine 
Tofts began in earnest. The rivalry had a political edge, 
for while Whigs, the party advocating limited constitu- 
tional monarchy, cheered on L'Epine, the Tories, the 
party of the gentry, applauded Tofts. In 1704, a former 
maid of Tofts created a melee when she hissed and 
threw oranges on stage during a L'Epine performance. 

By 1704, L'Epine had gone back to Jakob Greber, 
with whom she lived in Suffolk Street in London, but 
he returned to continental Europe in 1705 without 
his mistress. From 1705 until her retirement in 1719, 
L'Epine stuck to a rigorous performance schedule at 
various London opera venues. Her first opera appear- 
ance was on April 23, 1706, when she replaced 
Catherine Tofts in Nicola Haym's adaptation of Gio- 
vanni Bononcini's Camilla (the London rag Tatler 
hinted that Tofts had suffered a nervous breakdown). 
Camilla was the first Italian opera to achieve fame in 
England (ironically, the opera's fame is attributed to 
Bononcini's use of English singers who sang in Eng- 
lish, a language that the Italian L'Epine had already 
mastered). In 1707, L'Epine had met Johann 
Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752) and began per- 
forming his compositions, including his pasticcio 
Thomyris, Queen ofScythia (a pasticcio, or pastiche, is 
a musical composition made up of a combination of 
other works). She appeared in Carlo Cesarini, Gio- 
vanni del Violone, and Francesco Gasparini's opera 
Love's Triumph, Scarlatti's // Pirro e Demetrio, and 
John Ernest Galliard's Calypso and Telemachus (all in 
1708), in which she played the beguiling sorceress 
Calypso. She created the parts of Eurilla in Handel's 
II pasto fido (the faithful shepherd) in 1712 and 
Agilea in Teseo (Theseus, the Athenian king) in 1713. 
Her marriage to Pepusch probably occurred in 1718. 
They had a son, John, who was baptized in 1724 (he 
died in adolescence, probably in 1738). 

L'Epine performed Pepusch's compositions for the 
rest of her professional life, including the masque Venus 
and Adonis in 1715 and Apollo and Daphne in 1716. 



158 



PERFORMERS 



Music historians assume that Pepusch's cantatas, espe- 
cially those in Italian, were composed for her. She con- 
tinued to sing in revivals of Calypso and Telemachus, 
Camilla, and Thomyris, Queen of Scythia until 1718. 

She retired from the stage in 1719, and began 
teaching music privately. Many of her students went 
on to give public performances. She came out of 
retirement briefly in 1720 to replace Ann Turner 
Robinson in Domenico Scarlatti's Narciso and Han- 
del's Radamisto. Her last recorded performance was in 
1733. The popular singer, dancer, and accomplished 
harpsichordist died in London on August 8, 1746. 

Further Reading 

Cook, D. F. "Francoise Marguerite de L'Epine: The Italian 
Lady," Theatre Notebook, vol. 35 (1981): 58-73, 
104-113. 

Moor, E. L. "Some Notes on the Life of Francoise Mar- 
guerite de L'Epine." Music & Literature, vol. 28 (1947): 
341-346. 

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Stanley 
Sadie and John Tyrrell, eds., vol. 14. New York: Grove's 
Dictionaries, 2001. 



A LINDJENNY (Johanna Maria Lind) 

(1820-1887) Swedish I British opera singer 

Internationally renowned singer Jenny Lind, born 
Johanna Maria Lind on October 6, 1820, in Stock- 
holm, spent about half of her life in London. As an 
opera star, she toured all over Europe. During her 
tour of the United States in the 1850s, Lind became 
one of the nation's first modern musical celebrities to 
become a household word. 

The illegitimate daughter of Anne-Marie Fellborg 
and Niclas Jonas Lind, Jenny Lind, or "the Swedish 
Nightingale" as she was called, made her first stage 
appearance at age 10. She made her opera debut at 18 
as Agathe in Karl von Weber's (1786-1826) Der 
Freischiitz. Three years later, though, her voice had 
already been strained to the point of exhaustion. 

On the advice of Giovanni Belletti, an Italian 
baritone with whom she had been singing, she went 
to Paris to consult with a respected vocal teacher, 
Manuel Garcia. Garcia directed her to stop singing 



and rest her voice. Once her vocal cords had recov- 
ered, Garcia took Jenny Lind on as his pupil. When 
Lind returned to the stage in 1842, her rejuvenated 
voice sounded better; she had gained control of it, 
and she had improved her technique. 

Encouraged by her success, she embarked on a tour 
of Germany in the early 1840s and England later in the 
decade. Her most celebrated roles were Marie in 
Donizetti's The Daughters of the Regiment, Amelia in 
Verdi's / masnadieri, and Alice in Giacomo Meyerbeer's 
opera Robert le diable. It was in this last role that Queen 
Victoria of England saw her, an event that marked a 
turning point in Lind's career: "The great event of the 
evening," wrote the queen, "was Jenny Lind's appear- 
ance and her complete triumph. She had a most exqui- 
site, powerful, and really quite peculiar voice, so round, 
soft, and flexible, and her acting is charming and 
touching and very natural." Suddenly, all of London 
caught Jenny Lind fever. 

The queen's comments remind us that opera singers 
really exhibit three related skills. First and foremost, 
their voices must be highly trained so that they can sus- 
tain hours of singing, which puts enormous strain on 
the vocal cords. Only trained singers know how to treat 
their voices so that they are able to perform night after 
night. Second, they must be able to read and commu- 
nicate in at least three languages: German, Italian, and 
English. Finally, opera requires acting ability. No matter 
how beautiful and trained a voice might be, performers 
must make their roles believable to highly discriminat- 
ing audiences. Lind excelled in all three areas. 

Lind's appearances in operas, and her solo recitals, 
had long been popular throughout Europe by the 
time she toured the United States in the 1850s. 
Unlike anywhere else she had performed, entrepre- 
neurs began capitalizing on Lind's celebrity when she 
stepped off the boat in New York harbor. The propri- 
etor of a livery stable located near the Boston Con- 
cert Hall, where Lind was scheduled to perform, 
began setting up chairs near his stable, offering them 
for $.50 to concertgoers who were unable to buy 
tickets. The stable owner undoubtedly hoped for a 
favorable wind that would waft Lind's melodious 
voice toward the stable, which, he assumed, would be 
charming enough to mask the barnyard smell. 



159 



PERFORMERS 



Another entrepreneur capitalized on Lind's 
appearance in Providence, Rhode Island. The cham- 
bermaid who cleaned Lind's hotel room stuffed the 
pockets of her apron with hair from Lind's hairbrush 
and sold locks of it to adoring fans. 

Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs began marketing 
Jenny Lind gloves, bonnets, riding hats, and shawls. 
Perhaps the most ingenious was the Jenny Lind teaket- 
tle, which, when the water inside boiled, began to 
"sing." As far away as Alaska, salespeople were making 
money off Lind's celebrity. There, during gold rush 
days, peddlers hung out shingles offering Jenny Lind 
pancakes for sale. 

Lind herself found all of this appalling. When she 
met a vocal performer in Boston who had purchased 
a ticket to her concert for $625 (the equivalent of 
$12,481 in today's money) she commented that he 
was a fool. Perhaps from the European point of view, 
but not from the American perspective; the vocalist 
later promoted his own concert with a poster show- 
ing his meeting with Jenny Lind. 

At least one fan thought that Lind's presence in 
the United States helped to negate the entrepreneur- 
ial spirit. When Lind left the United States in 1852, 
poet Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950) commented: 
"A feeling of uplifted life spread over the metropolis. 
She melted the souls of thousands, and purged the 
craft of money getting. We came away from her as 
from a higher realm." 

Returning to London after the American tour in 
1852, Lind married her accompanist, Otto Gold- 
schmidt, and retired in England for the remainder of 
her life. She continued to perform for charity events 
and became a professor of voice at the Royal College of 
Music in London. Jenny Lind, who died on November 
2, 1887, was the first woman to be buried at Westmin- 
ster Abbey's Poet's Corner, along with other famous 
artists, including the writers Thomas Hardy and 
Charles Dickens and composer George Frideric Handel. 

Further Reading 

Bulman, Joan. Jenny Lind: A Biography. London: J. Barrie, 

1956. 
Ware, W. Porter, and Thaddeus C. Lockard, Jr. P.T. Bar- 

num Presents Jenny Lind: The American Tour of the 



Swedish Nightingale. Baton Rouge: Louisiana Press, 
1980. 
Wagenknecht, Edward. Jenny Lind. New York: Da Capo 
Press, 1980. 



OKUNI (Izumo No Okuni) 



(c. 1571-?) 
ofKabuki theater 



• actor and inventor 



We know little about the actor and theater innovator 
Okuni, but we know much about the Japanese art 
form she developed: Kabuki theater. This form of 
Japanese art and entertainment arose in the period of 
imperialism, when European nations began their ear- 
liest explorations and excursions overseas, mostly for 
trading purposes. Unlike many of the places that 
initially welcomed the European explorers, Japan 
turned its back on most European nations, deter- 
mined to modernize on its own and to escape 
exploitation by foreign powers. This cultural isola- 
tion enabled Okuni's Kabuki theater to flourish. 
Kabuki entertainment differed from Western forms 
of theater, helping cultural historians better under- 
stand the contrasts between Eastern and Western cul- 
tures. It was the first significant theater in Japan 
established for popular audiences. 

Okuni's life bridged two periods in Japanese his- 
tory. Just prior to her birth, Japan had experienced 
a period called the warring states, when daimyo, or 
territorial governors, fought among themselves for 
supremacy. After a long period of consolidation, 
one daimyo, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), 
achieved military hegemony. He became the 
shogun, or military ruler, to whom all other daimyo 
pledged allegiance. During this Tokugawa period 
(1603-1867) the shoguns resisted "westernization" 
of Japanese society by forbidding the practice of 
Christianity and expelling all foreigners, except 
their foremost trade partners, the Dutch and Chi- 
nese. In addition, the Japanese people themselves 
were forbidden to travel overseas. The purposes of 
this policy of isolation were to prevent economic 
exploitation of Japan by the Europeans, to enhance 
and unify Japanese culture, and to modernize and 
develop Japan's economy. 



160 



PERFORMERS 



Okuni's father, a blacksmith, worked for the 
Izumo Grand Shrine, a Buddhist temple on main- 
land Japan. Buddhist shrines had made a practice of 
soliciting contributions by sending young women to 
cities to perform Buddhist sacred dances and songs. 
Okuni, beautiful and talented, began to attract wide 
audiences to her performances. When the Izumo 
Grand Shrine called her back, she refused; instead, 
she set up her own theater on the banks of the Shijo 
River in the Japanese city of Kyoto. 

It was the Japanese equivalent of Woodstock, the 
famous rock festival held in upstate New York in 
1969. The banks of the Shijo drew large crowds of 
rootless, young Japanese people, displaced by chang- 
ing economic times and alienated from society. The 
gathering of these "hippies," called kabukimono, 
became the root word of kabuki: "ka" means song, 
"bu," dance, and "ki," skill. Kabuki theater, like the 
kabukimono who popularized it, defied polite 
Japanese society. 

Okuni had been sent to cities to perform Bud- 
dhist dances and songs; now, theatrical innovator 
Okuni parodied — poked fun at — Buddhist prayers 
by imitating them in order to mock them. Okuni 
assembled a group of female prostitutes and dancers, 
dressed them in gaudy, colorful costumes, and chore- 
ographed sensuous movements for their perform- 
ances. Later, with the help of Okuni's lover, 
Sanzaburo Ujisato, the dances included short plays 
enacted by the female dancers. The plays included 
men's and women's parts, all performed by women. 

Kabuki theater reveals important differences 
between Eastern and Western theater (and since the- 
ater mimics real life, Eastern and Western culture). In 
early Western theater, before the 17th century, 
women were excluded from the stage entirely, and 
men and boys played women's roles. Another differ- 
ence between Eastern and Western theater lies in the 
plot lines of the plays. Both theaters performed 
tragedies; but whereas Western tragedies focused on 
the downfall of the main character, due to a fatal 
character flaw, Eastern tragedies portrayed moral 
conflict interfering with human passions. Thus, 
whereas the West tended to focus on an individual, 
the East dealt with general human characteristics. 



Finally, whereas Western drama tended to have a dis- 
tinct plot line, Kabuki theater intermingled dance 
and singing and audience participation, to the point 
where the story line became blurred. 

Okuni herself performed in many of these plays. 
One drawing shows Okuni dressed as a samurai, a 
professional warrior. The samurai, lounging against 
his sword, flirts with a servant girl. Around his neck 
hangs a Christian crucifix, not as a religious icon 
but as an exotic decoration brought to Japan by 
Europeans. 

Japanese people throughout the nation applauded 
Okuni's Kabuki theater. Ironically, the popularity of 
Kabuki led to censorship. In 1629, the shogunate 
banned women from performing Kabuki, fearing 
that the sensuous nature of the dances perpetuated 
moral corruption in Japanese society. The govern- 
ment cited the frequent fights that developed among 
spectators over the dancers, who were also prosti- 
tutes. Preadolescent boys replaced the women, but in 
1652, the shogunate prohibited them from perform- 
ing as well; 15-year-old boys, in addition to acting on 
stage, were also discovered selling sexual favors in 
exchange for money. 

In 1868, a political revolution — known as the 
Meiji Restoration — toppled the Tokugawa Shogu- 
nate and returned the nation to direct Imperial rule. 
During the Meiji period (1868-1912), Japan devel- 
oped a modern, industrial economy and began 
incorporating some elements of Western culture. 
Kabuki theater introduced Western styles of cloth- 
ing, though the change did not endure for long as 
performances retained their unique Japanese flavor. 
Rather than poking fun at religion, as in Okuni's 
time, the plays began incorporating Buddhist and 
Confucian elements into the plots. Older men per- 
formed the roles, and prostitutes no longer acted on 
stage. Kabuki theater then developed as a more seri- 
ous art form. 

Today, regular performances of Kabuki, each last- 
ing between four and five hours in length, are held at 
the Kabuki Theater and the National Theater, both 
in Tokyo, where men still dominate the stage. How- 
ever, female actors, such as Sonoko Kawahara, per- 
form at the Sho Women's Kabuki Theater. 



161 



PERFORMERS 



Further Reading 

Arioshi, Sawako. Kabuki Dan 

national, 1994. 
Ernst, Earle. Kabuki Theate 

Hawaii Press, 1974. 
Gunji, Masakatsu, and Chiaki Yoshida. Kabuki. Tokyo 

Kodansha International, 1986. 



". Tokyo: Kodansha Inter- 
Honolulu: University of 



A PAVLOVA, ANNA 

(1881-1931) Russian 

Anna Pavlova brought ballet, a dance form previ- 
ously restricted to upper-class audiences, to the 
common people, thereby creating modern ballet. 
Necessarily, ballet became a different sort of art 
with this transformation: Pavlova took the tech- 
niques of ballet and married them to the cult of the 
dancer as artist. As a result, she became a world- 
wide celebrity. Her northernmost admirer, Norwe- 
gian skater Sonja HENIE, learned from Pavlova's 
style of ballet and incorporated it into her skating. 
Pavlova began her studies in 1891 at the Imperial 
School of Ballet at the Mariinsky Theater, and she 
became a prima ballerina in 1906. After 1913 she 
danced independently with her own company 
throughout the world. 

The word celebrity, however, seems an uncomfort- 
able choice when referring to Pavlova. Unlike Sarah 
BERNHARDT and Ellen TERRY, for example, Anna 
Pavlova studiously avoided publicity. In any case, she 
offered journalists nothing for their gossipy pages: no 
scandals interrupted her relentless devotion to her 
art. Her private life and her public persona were 
inseparable. Both were dedicated to bringing dance 
to the people of the world. 

Anna Pavlova came into the world on January 3 1 , 
1881, in St. Petersburg, Russia, a frail, premature 
baby. Her parents quickly had Anna baptized, doubt- 
ing that she would survive. Her mother, who took in 
laundry for a living after her husband died when 
Anna was two, nursed Anna through several child- 
hood illnesses: measles, scarlet fever, and diphtheria. 
By the age of eight, the worst seemed to be over. At 
Christmas that year, in 1889, her mother took her to 




Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova with partner 
Lawrence Novikoff 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



see the Imperial Russian Ballet perform The Sleeping 
Beauty. As Anna later wrote, "I was spellbound. I 
gazed and gazed, and wild plans began to circulate in 
my brain." Her mother promised to take her to more 
performances, but watching did not satisfy the little 
girl. She wanted to be on stage. 

Pavlova could not have chosen a better time to pur- 
sue dance. Czarist Russia promoted the performing 
arts with vigor, instituting several imperial schools into 
which only the most talented and bright students 
could hope to enter. After an examination, she entered 
the Ballet Academy at age 10; she had her first per- 
formance only four years later. During her debut, she 
pirouetted so enthusiastically that she lost control and 
fell with a loud bump off the stage. Nonplussed, she 
smiled and curtseyed, to audience applause. 



162 



PERFORMERS 



Anna Pavlova's frail figure and over-arched feet, 
seen by her teachers as a detriment, became an asset. 
While the academy encouraged her to fatten up (the 
school's doctor poured cod liver oil down her throat 
on a daily basis), Pavlova began to cultivate a stage 
presence as a delicate swan: ethereal and fleeting, "as 
if she were trying to leave the earth," according to 
another dancer. Her over-arched feet were said to 
symbolize the aspirations of the Russian people. 

In 1905, she earned the title of ballerina from the 
Imperial Ballet. Michel Folkine, a choreographer 
who worked with Pavlova, wrote a solo performance 
especially for her. The Dying Swan became Anna 
Pavlova's signature piece. Critics remarked on her 
ability to personify the swan, with her graceful move- 
ments of limbs, her facial expression, and, according 
to some, her very soul. In 1907, she embarked upon 
her first tour of Europe. 

Her relationship with the Imperial Ballet benefited 
both the company and Pavlova. She took on the 
canopy of prima ballerina, a mantle worn by only the 
very best dancers in Russia. The Imperial Ballet rose in 
reputation as Pavlova's artistry became known 
throughout Europe. One incident might have marred 
that relationship. In 1905, Pavlova became the leader 
of a strike organized by a group of young dancers at the 
Imperial Ballet who agitated for more independence 
within the company. Pavlova saw herself, and all 
dancers and artists, as independent creators of art, and 
she sought to retain her artistic integrity. 

In 1907, she embarked upon a tour of Scandina- 
vian countries, and Germany, Hungary, and Austria. 
In 1910, Americans glimpsed her for the first time at 
the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. A year 
later, she began her first full season with her own bal- 
let company at the Palace Theatre in London; there, 
she appeared in the Coronation Royal Command 
Performance of King George V (1865-1936) and 
Queen Mary (1867-1953). Pavlova purchased a 
home at Golders Green in England, although her fre- 
quent tours did not provide her with much time at 
home. From 1918 through 1921, she toured all the 
continents except Australia. 

"In my opinion," said Anna Pavlova, "a true artist 
must devote herself wholly to her art. She has no right 



to lead the life that most women long for." Before 
Pavlova, a ballerina portrayed herself on stage, regard- 
less of the role. In creating an artistic image through 
dance, and in marrying dance techniques with theatri- 
cal role-playing, Anna Pavlova created modern ballet. 

She died in The Hague, Netherlands, on January 
23, 1931. 

Further Reading 

Fonteyn, Margot. Pavlova: Portrait of a Dancer. New York: 

Viking, 1984. 
Levine, Ellen. Anna Pavlova: Genius of the Dance. New 

York: Scholastic, 1995. 
Money, Keith. Anna Pavlova, Her Life and Art. New York: 

Knopf, 1982. 



PRIMUS, PEARL 

(1919-1994) American dancer, 
choreographer, and scholar 



Pearl Primus blended two careers during one life. Pri- 
marily a dancer, Primus widened her intellectual 
horizons when she earned her Ph.D. in anthropology 
from Columbia University in 1978. Her dance and 
academic careers frequently intermingled, as her 
study of African cultures inspired her to create new 
dances. Primus developed a unique blend of African 
and Caribbean sources of dance and music with pop- 
ular American blues, jazz, and jitterbug dance steps 
to create new and vibrant forms of dance expressions. 
Her work also has an element of social and political 
commentary, as she has choreographed dances that 
deal directly with slavery, and the aftermath of slav- 
ery, both in the United States and the West Indies. 

Primus, born in Trinidad on November 29, 
1919, accompanied her family to New York City 
when she was two years old. Initially, she had 
planned on pursuing a medical degree, but she dis- 
missed the idea when she felt that racial barriers 
would prove too great to overcome. She declared a 
biology major at Hunter College in New York and 
then entered graduate school in psychology and 
health education. She could not find work to support 
her desire to finish her graduate degree, however, so 
she applied to the National Youth Administration 



163 



PERFORMERS 




Portrait of American performer Pearl Primus 
by Carl Van Vechten, photographer. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



and was given the understudy position in a dance 
troupe. Always a top-notch athlete, Primus quickly 
proved her abilities and won a scholarship to the New 
Dance Group, a modern dance performing company, 
in 1941. She later became a faculty member there. 

In 1943 she made her professional debut as a 
dancer with an elaborate ritualistic dance piece called 
African Ceremonial. Her work received such acclaim 
that she formed her own troupe and opened on 
Broadway later that year. She choreographed per- 
formances of a Langston Hughes (1902-67) poem, 
The Negro Speaks of Rivers, and an Abel Meeropol 
(1903?— 1986; a.k.a. Lewis Allan) poem, Strange 
Fruit. Langston Hughes, a well-known poet living 
and writing in Harlem, helped promote the renais- 
sance of African-American culture in the 1920s (for 
more on the Harlem Renaissance, see Josephine 
BAKER) in which Primus also participated. 



Meeropol's Strange Fruit inspired Primus to 
express the outrage at the practice of lynching, or the 
killing of a person by a mob in defiance of law. In the 
South, and elsewhere, most of the victims of lynch- 
ings were African American (230 blacks were lynched 
in the year 1892 alone). Primus' dance Strange Fruit 
depicted a woman's reaction to a lynching. 

In 1 944, Primus introduced her dance interpreta- 
tions called Slave Market and Rock Daniel on Broad- 
way. Meanwhile, she performed at Cafe Society 
Downtown, a Greenwich Village jazz nightclub, and 
its counterpart, Cafe Society Uptown. 

In 1948, Primus visited Africa for the first time, 
with funding provided by a Julius Rosenwald fellow- 
ship. The purpose of the trip was to study African 
folklore and dances and to incorporate what she 
learned in her choreography back in the United 
States. On a return trip to the Caribbean, also to 
study West Indian folklore, Primus met and married 
another dancer, Percival Borde. The two returned to 
New York and founded a dance school. When Primus 
returned to Africa in the 1950s at the invitation of 
the Liberian government, she became the director of 
a performing arts center in Monrovia, Liberia. 

Back in the United States, Primus, armed with a 
virtual library of material on African dance and folk- 
lore, decided to return to school to finish a doctorate 
in anthropology, with a specialty in African and 
Caribbean studies. Subsequent dances reflect her 
scholarship, including The Wedding (1961), which 
she choreographed for fellow dancer Alvin Ailey's 
(1931-89) company. Always affected by the civil 
rights strivings of American blacks, in 1979 she cre- 
ated Michael Row Your Boat Ashore about the racially 
motivated bombing of Christian churches in Birm- 
ingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. In the meantime, 
she became the director of the Black Studies program 
at the State University of New York. 

Pearl Primus was the recipient of numerous awards, 
the most prestigious of which was the National Medal 
of Art in 1991. She was chosen as the delegate from 
the American Society on African Culture to the Sec- 
ond World Congress on African Culture and Writers 
held in Rome in 1959. She died in New Rochelle, 
New York, on October 29, 1994. 



164 



PERFORMERS 



Further Reading 

Cohen-Stratyner, Barbara Naomi. Biographical Dictionary 
of Dance. New York: Schirmer Books, 1982. 

Jowitt, Deborah. "Dance," The Village Voice 39, no. 46 
(Nov. 15, 1994): 92. 

"Legendary Images of American Dance," Chronicle of 
Higher EducationXL no. 28 (March 16, 1994): B64. 

A SCHUMANN, CLARA WIECK 

(1819—1896) German pianist and composer 

Clara Wieck Schumann wrote and performed music 
for piano and orchestra, excelling in romantic songs 
popular in the 19th century. She composed more 
than 30 songs and performed in 38 concert tours. 
She mastered the techniques of piano playing, and 
she charmed her audiences with her melodic and 
emotional interpretations of her own compositions 
and those of her husband, Robert Schumann 
(1810-56) and her close friend Johannes Brahms 
(1833-97). 

Clara Wieck Schumann was born in Leipzig, Ger- 
many, on September 13, 1819. Her father, Friedrich 
Wieck, dreamed of having a musical genius in his fam- 
ily, and he made plans to make his dream a reality even 
before Clara was born. A music teacher, "Wieck focused 
all his daughter's attention on learning music. She gave 
her first concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1828 at 
the age of nine, followed by a solo recital in 1830. The 
following year, her father took her on a concert tour in 
Germany and France. Returning to Leipzig, Clara 
Wieck spent her days and evenings studying piano, 
voice, the violin, and composition. She excelled at cre- 
ating music for the piano, and several of her piano solo 
pieces were published in Germany. By the time she was 
16, music lovers throughout Europe hailed her as an 
incredibly talented musical prodigy. Writers, including 
the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
(1749-1832), admired the depth of emotion they 
heard in her music; her technical expertise delighted 
other musicians, such as Mendelssohn (1809-47), 
Chopin (1810-49), and Paganini (1782-1840). 

The hold Friedrich Wieck had on Clara's life 
seemed to matter little to her, until she made plans to 
marry. Robert Schumann, a student of Wieck's, fell 



in love with Clara and asked for her hand in mar- 
riage. Schumann threatened Wieck's dream by taking 
Clara away from him, and he refused the proposal. 
Schumann took legal action; a judge permitted the 
marriage, and the two wed in 1840, a day before 
Clara's 21st birthday. 

Clara Wieck Schumann's life illustrates the restric- 
tions that marriage placed on 19th-century women. 
Before she married, Europeans knew Clara Wieck as 
a young musical prodigy who had received numerous 
prestigious awards. After her union with Robert 
Schumann, Clara Wieck Schumann's life and name 
retreated behind the life and career of her husband 
until his death. Even now, the name Robert Schu- 
mann is widely known, whereas few recognize the 
name Clara Wieck Schumann as one of the world's 
great musicians and composers. Indeed, most music 
historians now agree that Clara Schumann's talents 
outshone her husband's. 

Marriage in 19th-century Europe and the United 
States differed, in some ways, from the way many 
people conceive of the institution today. Most 
women had little choice but to marry if they wanted 
to live financially secure lives (important exceptions 
are Nadia BOULANGER and Anna PAVLOVA). Because 
birth control methods were relatively crude — and 
since people associated it with prostitution, it was 
considered taboo — marriage meant children. Moth- 
ers, almost exclusively, managed their care and 
upbringing (although many upper-class mothers 
hired nannies and housekeepers to help them). 
Child-rearing and housekeeping left wives with little 
time for careers. Furthermore, most women of that 
time viewed marriage and career as incompatible for 
women; one may be able to choose one or the other, 
but not both. Nineteenth-century marriage vows 
called for obedience to the husband on the part of the 
wife; she submitted her life to his. 

Did Clara Wieck Schumann accommodate to the 
conventions of 19th-century marriage, or rebel? Her 
diary reveals a woman prepared to succumb to the 
expectations placed on women of her day. "I once 
thought that I possessed creative talent, but I have 
given up this idea; a woman must not desire to com- 
pose — not one has been able to do it, and why should 



165 



PERFORMERS 



I expect to? It would be arrogance," she wrote in 1 839, 
on the eve of her marriage, "although my father led me 
into it in earlier days." But Clara Wieck managed to 
continue her musical career while she lived with her 
husband, though to a diminished degree. In fact, the 
extent to which Clara Wieck Schumann pursued her 
music during her marriage makes her relative obscurity 
now all the more inexplicable. 

After her marriage, her husband demanded her 
complete silence while he practiced and composed 
music. Surrendering time at the piano to her husband, 
Clara had little time in any case; she gave birth to eight 
children, from daughter Marie's birth in 1841 to son 
Felix in 1854. Nevertheless, in between deliveries, she 
made two concert tours in 1 842 and 1 844. Clara and 
her husband both taught at the Leipzig Conservatory, 
and Clara also gave private lessons. Her productivity 
dwindled during these years, but (in contradiction to 
her diary entry) she did compose a set of preludes, 
songs, and chamber music. 

In 1853, the Schumanns moved to a home in Diis- 
seldorf where the placement of the rooms enabled 
Robert and Clara to compose at the same time. The 
change coincided, however, with Robert's mental 
breakdown in 1854. In March that year his family 
committed him to an asylum at Endenich, at his 
request, where he lived until his death in 1856. Three 
years before her husband's death, Clara Schumann 
formed a friendship with the German composer 
Johannes Brahms. The two may have been lovers; they 
exchanged passionate letters until her death. 

In the 1 870s, after Robert's death, Clara suffered 
additional losses. Her two daughters died, her son 
Ludwig was committed to a mental institution, and 
her son Felix died in 1879. Another son died in 
1891; thus, half of her offspring preceded her in 
death. In 1878, she began teaching piano again, 
while preparing Robert Schumann's music and letters 
for publication. She gave her final performance in 
1891. Five years later, on May 20, 1896, she died in 
Frankfurt, Germany. 

Further Reading 

Chissell, Joan. Clara Schumann, a Dedicated Spirit. Lon- 
don: H. Hamilton, 1983. 



Nauhaus, Gerd, ed. The Marriage Diaries of Robert and 
Clara Schumann. Boston: Northeastern University 
Press, 1993. 

Reich, Nancy B. Clara Schumann, the Artist and the 
Woman. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1985. 



A TERRY, ELLEN (Dame Ellen Terry) 

(1847-1928) British actor 

British stage star Ellen Terry's life vacillated between an 
exciting career as a Shakespearean actress and a series of 
disastrous romances. Considering the number of times 
she left the theater to concentrate on her partnerships 
with lovers and husbands, it almost seems as though 
she succeeded on stage in spite of herself. Terry became 
one of Britain's most acclaimed actresses. Her stage 
successes, such as her portrayal of Shakespeare's charac- 
ter Ophelia, helped to ensure women's place in the act- 
ing profession. Later in life, she traveled throughout 
England, the United States, and Australia, presenting 
lectures on Shakespeare's female characters. 

Ellen Terry, born on February 27, 1 847, into an 
impoverished theatrical family in Coventry, England, 
never questioned her place on the stage. Role-playing 
seemed as natural to her as getting out of bed in the 
morning. The question that plagued her during her 
life was not whether she should act, but whether she 
should allow the theater to interfere with marriage 
and family. "I have the simplest faith," wrote Terry, 
"that absolute devotion to another human being 
means the greatest happiness!' That Ellen Terry 
enjoyed acting goes without saying; but like many 
women of her time, and beyond, she longed to 
devote her life to a mate. During her long life she 
divided her time between her acting career and her 
search for a person with whom she could create a 
partnership. Her life on the stage soared; her search 
for a life partner ended in failure. 

As a little girl, Terry's first role was to play a mus- 
tard pot. Her father tried to squeeze her into her cos- 
tume, but she screamed so loudly that he told her she 
would never succeed on stage. A few years later, she 
landed a real part as Mamilius, the son of King 
Leontes in Shakespeare's The Winters Tale. Terry 
received her first acting lessons from Charles and 



166 



PERFORMERS 



Ellen Keane at the Princess's Theatre, where Ellen 
Keane instructed her young charge, "A,E,I,0,U, my 
dear, are five distinct vowels, so don't mix them all up 
together." The lesson must have stuck, for diction 
became Terry's forte. In The Winter's Tale, the writer 
Lewis Carroll (1832-98) applauded her talent, 
describing her as "a beautiful little creature, who 
played with remarkable ease and spirit." 

Unfortunately, her first attempt at marriage did 
not play so well. At age 16, she succumbed to an 
arranged marriage with the painter G. F. Watts, 30 
years her senior. "I can hardly regret," wrote Watts, 
"taking the poor child out of her present life and fit- 
ting her for better." Furthermore, he declared that "to 
make the poor child what I wish her to be will take a 
long time, and most likely cost a great deal of trou- 
ble." The marriage broke up within a year; the legal 
papers cited incompatibility of temper. Watts agreed 
to pay Terry 300 pounds annually, so long as she led 
a "chaste" life. The amount would drop to 200 
pounds if she returned to the theater. 

But return she did, believing in her talent and in 
her ability to earn enough money to make up the dif- 
ference. Two years later, however, she left the theater 
again, this time with the architect Edward William 
Godwin. A daughter, Edith, was born in 1 869, and a 
son, Teddy, in 1872. Ellen Terry created the domestic 
bliss she had longed for as a child, but it did not last 
long. Godwin lived at their country house in Hert- 
fordshire only rarely, and unless she returned to the 
stage, Terry could not afford to keep the house. In 
1874, creditors took the house, and, reluctantly, 
Terry returned to London's theaters. 

In 1 874, Terry's portrayal of the character Portia 
in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice created a sen- 
sation among London's theater-enthusiasts (although 
the play itself did not succeed, closing shortly after it 
opened). Thereafter, Terry became known as a Shake- 
spearean actress, although her portrayal of Olivia, in 
the W G. Wills's dramatization of Oliver Goldsmith's 
The Vicar of Wakefield, constituted her greatest 
achievement. Most critics agreed that Terry's talents 
lay in her remarkable speaking voice, her ability to 
reflect her own personality on stage, and her incredi- 
ble beauty. Blonde with fine features, her image was 



captured on canvas by several artists, including Gra- 
ham Robertson and John Collier; William Brodie 
sculpted her likeness. Terry's looks were an asset on 
the stage, particularly at a time when pictorialism, or 
the creation of a picture on stage to communicate the 
theme (s) of the play, reached its peak in British the- 
ater. Though she seemed least effective in tragic roles, 
the painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) chose 
to paint her as the scheming but doomed Lady Mac- 
beth. During the run of The Vicar ofWakefield, Terry 
married the actor Charles Kelly. She surrendered 
three-quarters of her earnings to Kelly, whose heavy 
drinking soon soured the marriage. Terry recalled 
that, after three years, she begged the actor to leave. 

Another theatrical triumph came in 1878, with 
her portrayal of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet. 
Ophelia, the Danish Prince Hamlet's lover, breaks 
under the pressure of court life and succumbs to 
insanity and suicide. In her Story of My Life, Terry 
describes venturing into London's insane asylums to 
study patients' behavior. "Strange as it may sound," 
she wrote, "they were too theatrical to teach me any- 
thing [emphasis Terry's]." 

Like Sarah BERNHARDT, Terry tried her hand at 
managing theaters. In 1903, she took a lease of the 
Imperial Theater; her son managed the set construc- 
tion. By this time, she had toured the United States 
to adoring crowds. Her natural style of acting and her 
friendly rapport with audiences endeared her to 
American theatergoers. In 1907, she made another 
attempt at marriage, with actor James Carew, a man 
four years younger than her son. "I give it two years," 
remarked her daughter Edith. She was right. 

As is still the case for most middle-aged actresses, 
Terry began to have difficulty finding parts to play 
and managers who would hire her. She continued to 
pursue theatrical work by giving lectures on Shake- 
speare's heroines. The lecture series flourished, and 
Terry toured England, Australia, and the United 
States in 1914. These were her last public appear- 
ances (with the exception of 1925, when she was 
made a Dame of the British Empire). 

She retired to her home at Smallhythe Place, to 
live, in her words, "as a dear old Frump in an arm- 
chair." She died on July 21, 1928. 



167 



PERFORMERS 



Further Reading 

Auerbach, Nina. Ellen Terry: Player in Her Time. New York: 

W.W.Norton, 1987. 
Terry, Ellen. The Story of My Life. Woodbridge, Suffolk: 

Boydell Press, 1982. 
Wagenknecht, Edward. Seven Daughters of the Theater. 

Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964. 



A WEST, MAE (Mary Jane West) 

(1892/93-1980) American comic film 
and stage actress and playwright 

In Night After Night (1932), Mae West's first 
motion picture, the actress wrote and delivered the 
following dialogue: 

HOSTESS AT A NIGHTCLUB: "Goodness, 
what beautiful diamonds you're wearing." 
MAE WEST: "Goodness had nothing to do with 
it, dearie." 

Bah-dah-boom. That bit of shtick, combined with 
West's alluring figure on screen, stole the show. 

Although Mae West has been dead for decades, her 
legendary bump-and-grind routine, paired with her 
sultry invitation to "come up and see me sometime," 
live on in the imagination of American moviegoers. 
Throughout her long career, West constantly chal- 
lenged the moral standards of U.S. filmmakers with 
the characters and the dialogues she created. The para- 
doxical sex kitten/tough broad women she played on 
stage contributed to Hollywood's self-censoring 1930 
Hays Code (or Production Code). Her sexual frank- 
ness enraged moral standard-bearers, but they missed 
an important point: West demonstrated to depression- 
era audiences that supremely confident women could 
take care of themselves, regardless of the harsh realities 
of their lives. West parodied Americas veiled romance 
with female sexuality and the double standard by 
openly presenting sexual freedoms for both men and 
women. Toward the end of her life, she even poked fun 
at her own stage persona. 

West's career followed the history of American 
entertainment from vaudeville — where she got her 
start — to Broadway, film, radio, and even rock and 



roll music. Born on August 17, 1892 or 1893, in 
Brooklyn, New York, to corset model Matilda Delker 
Doelger and John Patrick West, a heavyweight boxer, 
West won an amateur night acting competition when 
she was eight. She developed acting and musical skills 
by acting in stock theatrical productions, such as the 
Ziegfeld Follies, throughout her teens. The contro- 
versy that followed her throughout her career began 
when she introduced Broadway audiences to the 
"shimmy dance," an erotic routine usually performed 
by African-American artists. By 1918, West's per- 
formances were at once causing riots and selling out. 

She might have disappeared in entertainment his- 
tory as a dance hall entertainer if she had not developed 
a character that stuck in the popular imagination. 
West's seductive female roles were the result of her 
study of Sigmund Freud's theories of human sexuality 
(see Anna FREUD). Her figures were sexy and flirtatious 
and also comedic. A later movie sex symbol, Marilyn 
Monroe (1925—62) won fame by capitalizing on the 
former, but it was West who found the perfect blend of 
allure and double entendre humor that made her char- 
acters memorable. 

In the 1920s, West began experimenting with 
playwriting. Her first efforts went unproduced, but 
her third, Sex, a play about a do-gooder prostitute, 
was staged in 1926. The performance included sev- 
eral explicit scenes that led to a police raid, the clos- 
ing of the show, and a fine and jail term for West. 
Undaunted, West's next play The Drag (1927), a play 
about male homosexuality that featured a drag queen 
ball, continued to probe New Yorkers' tolerance level. 
The play made West a cause celebre among the gay 
and lesbian community. 

In The Wicked Age, a play panned by critics, West 
lampooned a new feature of the Jazz Age that would 
soon become synonymous with Americana. Ever 
since Margaret Gorman was crowned the first Miss 
America at Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1921, 
women have been modeling bathing suits for judges 
in hopes of winning male approval. In The Wicked 
Age, West played an orphaned flapper from New Jer- 
sey named Babe Carson, who gets kicked out of her 
guardians' house when she brings home her gin- 
drinking friends for a petting party. She enters a 



168 



PERFORMERS 



beauty contest, hoping to embarrass her guardians. 
Unexpectedly, she wins — despite the fact that she is 
clearly not the symbol of purity the judges look 
for — and moves to New York where she lives off her 
contest fame. 

It was in the play Diamond Lil (1928), however, 
that West perfected her stage persona. The play 
probed New York's underworld in the Bowery, 
where a cast of seamy characters — including drunks, 
gangsters, politicians, and missionaries — encoun- 
tered the tough dance-hall entertainer Lil, who 
managed to come out of it all unscathed. West 
adapted Lil for films in She Done Him Wrong 
(1933). "I wasn't always rich," Lil quips in one 
scene. "There was a time when I didn't know where 
my next husband was coming from." This popular 
film placed West among the most popular, power- 
ful, and wealthy women in Hollywood. 

Controversy again swirled around West, this time 
on the airwaves. The actor Don Ameche and West 
were guests on a radio program called The Chase and 
Sanborn Hour in 1937. Arch Oboler had written a 
skit that the two were to perform. Ameche knew the 
dialogue would be offensive to many people, and he 
tried to persuade West to change it, but she liked the 
bit and wanted the show to go on. The skit was a 
conversation between the biblical figures Adam and 
Eve, in which Eve, a forceful woman, tempts the 
snake, rather than the other way around. The Federal 
Communications Commission went into a tailspin 
and effectively banned West from performing on 
radio again. Ameche suffered no such consequences. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, when she was over 70 
years old, West experienced a comeback. The youth 
counterculture of those years, with its mantra of "let- 
ting it all hang out," resurrected West's earlier forays 
into sexual openness and acceptance. She recorded 
several rock albums and appeared as a parody of her 
legend in Myra Breckinridge (1970) and Sextette 
(1978). Both films bombed, but critics agreed that 
West's performance was the best thing about them. 
About her return to film at a late age, West wise- 
cracked, "It's better to be looked over, than over- 
looked." She died on November 23, 1980, in Los 
Angeles, California. 



Further Reading 

Hamilton, Marybeth. When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, 
Sex, and American Entertainment. New York: Harper- 
Collins Publishers, 1995. 

Leider, Emily Words. Becoming Mae West. New York: Far- 
rar, Straus & Giroux. 1997 

West, Mae. Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It. Engle- 
wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1959. 



A ZHENG XIAOYING (Zeng Xiaoying) 
(1929— ) Chinese conductor 

The career of Professor Zheng Xiaoying, China's first 
female music conductor, interweaves inextricably with 
the turbulent times in which she has lived. From 1921, 
when the Chinese Communist Party emerged, until 
1949, when the nationalists fled the mainland, China 
had been torn apart by tensions between communists 
and nationalists. During the 1940s, while the national- 
ist Kuomintang government ruled China, Zheng 
joined a revolutionary organization opposed to the 
nationalism of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek 
(1887-1975). Later, during the excesses of the Cul- 
tural Revolution in China (1966-76), Zheng risked 
her career in music, and her life, by teaching music and 
conducting illegally. Zheng lives in Beijing and works 
as the art supervisor of Beijing's Ai Yue Nu Center of 
Music Arts, conducts the Ai Yue Nu Philharmonic 
Society, and is the managing director of the China 
Association of Musicians. In 1995, she conducted the 
Woman's Philharmonic at the 1995 United Nations 
Women's Conference in Beijing. 

Zheng grew up against the backdrop of mounting 
tensions between the Kuomintang (variously called 
the People's Party, or Nationalist Democratic Party in 
China) regime that governed most of China from 
1926 until 1949, and the Chinese Communist Party, 
led by Mao Zedong (1883-1976). Sun Yat-sen 
(1866-1925) and Chiang Kai-shek were Kuom- 
intang's primary leaders. The Kuomintang splintered 
into various factions after the death of Sun Yat-sen in 
1925. Chiang Kai-shek led the nationalist majority 
against the communist minority, which resulted in a 
decade of civil war in China from 1927 to 1937, fol- 
lowed by eight years of uneasy truce in the face of 



169 



PERFORMERS 



Japanese aggression from 1937 to 1945. When 
World War II ended in 1945, China again erupted in 
civil war from 1945 until 1949, when the commu- 
nists could claim victory all over mainland China. 

Zheng Xiaoying began performing publicly at the 
age of 14; however, she had set her sights on a career 
in medicine. She studied to become a physician at 
Jinling Girls' College in Nanjing, where, in 1937, she 
had witnessed the Japanese invasion, capture, and 
burning of much of the city. As a student at Jinling, 
Zheng joined a revolutionary group that opposed 
Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist government. In the 
midst of World War II (1939-45) Zheng ceased her 
studies and moved to the areas of China that had 
been liberated from the Kuomintang by the Chinese 
Communist Party (CCP). She spent the years 
between 1948 and 1952 performing in song-and- 
dance troupes, teaching music theory, teaching 
classes on conducting music, and composing folk 
songs and operettas. In 1952, she won a scholarship 
to the Central Conservatory of Music, and then in 
1960, she went to the Moscow Conservatory in Rus- 
sia, where she studied conducting theory and opera 
and philharmonic music. In 1962, she returned to 
China to conduct operas such as Puccini's Tosca and 
Ai Yi Gu Li, a popular Chinese opera. 

Mao Zedong raised the curtain on "the great pro- 
letarian cultural revolution" in 1966. The purpose of 
the revolution was to purge all elements of the 
nation's bourgeois cultural past (including the Euro- 
pean music that Zheng brought to Chinese music 



lovers) and instill communist ideology afresh. Mao 
mobilized the youthful "Red Guards," then the "Rev- 
olutionary Rebels," and finally the "People's Libera- 
tion Army" to achieve his goals. Mao succeeded in 
destroying opposition to the CCP, but the party itself 
was in shambles, and large parts of the government 
and economy ceased functioning. The Cultural Rev- 
olution ended when the government declared that all 
economic classes had been eliminated, except the 
working and peasant classes. Zheng continued to 
teach courses in conducting from 1965 to 1969, 
though it was illegal to teach Western styles of music. 
After the revolution ended, Zheng again con- 
ducted popular operas such as Giuseppe Verdi's La 
Traviata and Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly. In 
1981, China's Ministry of Culture named her China's 
Excellent Conductor, and she received France's Hon- 
orary Medal of French Literature and Arts in 1985. 
In 1989, Zheng established the all-female performing 
group Ai Yue Nu Philharmonic Society to introduce 
the public to classical music, develop Chinese 
national music, and stimulate international music 
exchanges. Ai Yue Nu features both modern and clas- 
sical Chinese and Western music in its concerts. 

Further Reading 

Uglow, Jennifer. The Continuum Dictionary of Women's 

Biography. New York: Continuum, 1989. 
"Unbreakable Spirits: Women Breaking Down Barriers in 

China." Asia Society, 2000. http://www.asiasource.org/ 

arts/unbreaksprts/Daughter.cfm. 



170 



7 



Political Activists 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



A ADIVAR., HALIDE (Halide Edib Adivar) 

(1883-1964) Turkish nationalist 
and writer 

Halide Adivar championed the cause of Turkish 
nationalism at the most crucial moment in her coun- 
try's existence: the fight for independence. She sup- 
ported Turkish independence in the hopes that it 
would bring more freedom for women. Indeed, the 
name Halide Adivar became synonymous with the 
women's movement in Turkey. Throughout her polit- 
ical and literary career, Adivar remained a devout 
Muslim, despite the fact that Muslim fundamental- 
ism remained a threat to women's freedom in Turkey 
and throughout the Muslim world. She based her 
devotion on spirituality. "I believe that a child who 
recites . . . from the Qur'an in her own language 
every night," she explained, "will inevitably be con- 
vinced that Islam expresses a spirit which encom- 
passes all humanity." 

In her Memoirs of Halide Edib, Adivar begins her 
story with her upbringing in a wealthy Istanbul house- 
hold. Her mother died when she was very young; her 
grandmother reared her in the strictest observances of 
Muslim traditions. Halide Edib's father, however, 
eagerly embraced Western life and culture and had his 
daughter educated first at a primary school operated 
by a Greek woman, Kyrie Eleni. When she turned 13, 
she attended the American College for Girls in Usku- 
dar, Turkey, located across the Bosporus Strait from 
Istanbul (the Bosporus Strait links the Black and 
Mediterranean Seas). In 1901, Adivar became the first 
Muslim girl to graduate from the institution. All her 
life, Adivar would vacillate between the Muslim tradi- 
tions that her grandmother taught to her and the 
Western influences absorbed by her father. 

Shortly after she finished school, Adivar married her 
mathematics instructor, Salih Zeki Bey. The couple had 
two children. Nine years later, when Bey suddenly mar- 
ried another woman (polygamy was still accepted in 
Turkey at the time), Adivar divorced him. The realiza- 
tion that women are not treated as equals in traditional 
marriages, she noted, became the fountainhead for 
much of her subsequent writing about women's lives in 
Turkey and for her political activism. Adivar resolved to 



continue her education. After her divorce, she reentered 
college and finished the teacher training courses. She 
taught at girls' schools and then worked as an inspector 
for the educational system in Turkey. 

These were active, productive years for Adivar. She 
established the Society for the Elevation of Women in 
1910, an organization that drew upon the notion of 
self-improvement to encourage women to educate 
themselves, popular during the 19th and early 20th 
centuries in both Europe and the United States. The 
Society established connections between Turkish and 
European women, facilitated by Adivar's articles on 
emancipation published in the liberal newspaper 
TanineznA abroad. Adivar also worked in relief organ- 
izations for impoverished women and children. Along 
with her work in women's rights, she wrote editorials 
sympathetic to the nationalist movement in Turkey for 
Tanine. In 1912, she became the only woman elected 
to the Ojak, the Turkish nationalist club. Her novel 
Handan, a romance between a young woman and a 
socialist intellectual, also came out in 1912, and she 
began publishing the weekly Yeni Turan, in which she 
outlined her nationalistic proclivities. 

In the aftermath ofWorld War I (1914-18), Turk- 
ish nationalists won their cause, after much blood- 
shed and suffering. Shortly before the war began, the 
Ottoman sultan Mehmed V (1844-1918) signed a 
secret alliance with Germany promising protection. 
A few days later, two German warships asked for 
shelter in the waters off Istanbul. Turkey bought the 
ships and sailed them into the Black Sea in October 
1914 and shelled Russian ports, thereby declaring 
war against Russia and the other allied powers 
(France, Britain, Belgium, and Serbia, later joined by 
Italy, Japan, and the United States, among others). 
When an Allied victory appeared imminent in 1918, 
the sultan mutely signed an armistice in October 
1918 that gave the Allies the right to occupy the 
empire. Allied forces settled in various parts of the 
old empire, except in the areas surrounding Istanbul. 
During the war, Adivar taught in Syria and Lebanon, 
where she met her second husband, activist Dr. 
Adnan Adivar, whom she married in 1917. The next 
year, Halide Adivar was elected to the Ojak Council, 
the policy-making arm of the Ojak. 



172 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



In May 1919, Greek troops, protected by Allied 
fleets, threatened Istanbul itself when they landed at 
the port of Izmir. The Greeks then advanced into the 
country. The Ottoman government could not defend 
the Turkish homeland. The Adivars fled the occupa- 
tion of Istanbul to Ankara, where the couple joined 
the movement for independence. Under British 
occupation, Istanbul itself began shifting under the 
early eruptions of nationalism. In the spring of 1920, 
Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), a successful general 
who had fought in the war, set up a national assembly 
in Ankara. On August 10, 1920, representatives of 
the government of Ottoman Turkey and the Allied 
powers signed the Treaty of Sevres, which abolished 
the Ottoman Empire and obliged Turkey to 
renounce all rights over Arab Asia and North Africa. 
The treaty was rejected by the new Turkish national- 
ist regime and would soon be replaced by the Treaty 
of Lausanne. In Ankara, Adnan Adivar became 
deputy speaker of the national assembly, while 
Halide Adivar served on the western front as nurse 
and interpreter, press adviser, and secretary to 
Mustafa Kemal. She drew largely upon her experi- 
ences during the War for Independence for her auto- 
biographical novel The Shirt of Flame! (1924). 

In the meantime, the British invited the last 
Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI (1861-1926), and 
Kemal to participate in a peace conference, but the 
Ankara assembly abolished the sultanate before 
such a meeting could take place. Mehmed VI fled 
Istanbul on November 17, 1922; the Treaty of 
Lausanne between Great Britain, France, Italy, 
Japan, Greece, Romania, and the Serb-Croat- 
Slovene State and Turkey that established Turkey as 
an independent nation was signed on July 24, 
1923. President Kemal modernized Turkey's legal 
and educational systems and encouraged the adop- 
tion of a European way of life, replacing Arabic 
with the Roman alphabet. The constitution 
declared all Turks to be equal before the law. In 
1928, Islam was abolished as the state religion, 
polygamy was forbidden, and the Qur'an was no 
longer the basis for law. President Kemal took the 
word Ataturk (father of the Turks) as his name, and 
he asked all Turks to choose new names. 



Ever mindful of her religious upbringing and con- 
tinued spirituality, Halide Adivar broke with the 
Ataturk regime when Islam was abolished. She and 
her husband felt that the president had usurped too 
much power. The Adivars lived in exile in England 
and France until Atatiirk's death in 1938. Upon the 
couple's return, Halide Adivar became head of the 
English Department at Istanbul University. She was a 
member of Parliament from 1950 to 1954, and then 
she retired from public life to devote her time to writ- 
ing. She died in 1964 in Istanbul. 

Further Reading 

Adivar, Halide Edib. Memoirs of Halide Edib, with a Fron- 
tispiece by Alexander Pankoff. New York: Century, 1926. 

. Turkish Ordeal: Being the Further Memoirs of 

Halide Edib. New York: Century, 1928. 

"Halide Adivar: Turkish Nationalist," in Middle Eastern 
Women Speak, Elizabeth Fernea and Basima Bezirgan, 
eds. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977. 



A APOSTOLOY, ELECTRA (Electra 
Apostolou) 
(1912-1 944) Greek political activist 

Electra Apostoloy spent most of her short life fighting 
against fascism — a political ideology that favored a 
dictatorial regime, a strong central government, and 
restrictions on individual freedoms — and against 
Nazi Germany's occupation of Greece (1941-44). In 
both cases, Apostoloy resisted fascism through the 
Greek Communist Party, with which she had been 
involved since the age of 13. Organizing communist 
youth groups and working women's groups became 
the focal point of Apostoloy's activism. Arrested in 
1944 for forming EPON, a youth group within the 
Greek Resistance movement against German occupa- 
tion of Greece, Apostoloy refused to reveal informa- 
tion about the banned Greek Communist Party and 
was subsequently tortured to death, months before 
Allied forces (Great Britain, France, and the United 
States) liberated her homeland. 

Greek politics during Apostoloy's lifetime blazed a 
volatile path between dictatorships, republicanism, 
and monarchy. The Greek Republic had been declared 



173 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



in 1924, but between 1924 and 1935, a series of mili- 
tary coups upset existing regimes. Theodoros Pangalos 
(1878-1952), the most notorious military strongman, 
suspended the constitution and assumed dictatorial 
powers in 1925. A year later, he forced the resignation 
of the elected president and then secured his own 
election. A decade later, King George II (1890-1947) 
claimed the throne and reestablished monarchical 
rule. Throughout the 1920s, the Greek Communist 
Party had established a strong foothold among 
working-class Greeks. In response, John Metaxas 
(1871-1941), with the acquiescence of George II, dis- 
solved parliament and, patterning his moves to coin- 
cide with fascist movements elsewhere in Europe, 
instituted a fascist-style government in Greece on 
the pretext of destroying the communist threat. As a 
13-year-old girl, Electra Apostoloy embraced commu- 
nism and joined OKNE, the Greek Communist 
Youth Organization. She formed a secret society with 
some of her classmates in opposition to the Pangalos 
dictatorship. Later, she arranged to send financial aid 
to exiled communist leaders. 

Apostoloy then married a communist physician 
and officially joined the Greek Communist Party. 
Even though the communists never gained above 1 
percent of the vote between 1924 and 1935, they had 
managed to produce a popular movement within a 
few years. According to Mark Mazower, author of 
Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 
1941—1944, the Greek Communist Party's success 
lay in its mobilization of Greece's youth and other 
previously ignored groups. Apostoloy promoted the 
strategy by becoming the editor of the party's journal 
for young communists called Youth. She also repre- 
sented Greek women at the International Conference 
Against Fascism in Paris in 1935, and she traveled all 
over Greece organizing women's educational groups 
to warn against the dangers of fascism. During the 
Metaxas regime, she was imprisoned for two years for 
distributing anti-fascism propaganda. A year later, 
she was freed but was again arrested for the same rea- 
son, but this time she was exiled from Greece. After 
the birth of her child, she managed to return to 
Athens to a prison hospital, due to failing health. She 
soon escaped and then went into hiding. 



War broke out between Italy and Greece in 1939, 
after Metaxas learned of Italy's plans to redraw the 
Balkan map, including Italian occupation of the 
Epirus, a region of Greece. The British offered to aid 
Greece against the expected German invasion of the 
Balkans, but Metaxas, who admired German military 
culture, refused the offer. Metaxas died in 1941, 
however, and Greece quickly accepted the British 
offer. But it was too little too late, and the German 
army overran Greece in April 1941. 

Within months after occupation began, two 
groups of guerrilla forces formed to resist German 
occupation: the EAM-ELAS, made up primarily of 
communists, and the EDES, the Greek Democratic 
National Army. In February 1943, Apostoloy formed 
EPON, the Unified Panhellenic Youth Organization. 
EPON had close ties to the EAM. Its purpose was to 
mobilize Greek youth in the service of the Resistance. 

The Greek Resistance movement appealed to 
Greek women, according to Mazower, largely because 
of Greek society's treatment of them. Mazower cites 
American officers' dismay at the status of women, 
particularly in rural Greece. One American officer 
remarked that "women are regarded as little better 
than animals, and [are] treated the same." Another 
commented that Greek women were, on the whole, 
poorly educated. The Resistance movement offered 
women, according to one broadsheet, freedom "from 
the foreign yoke, and from the bias and superstitions 
of our own country." In EPON and in women's 
organizations, children and women carried out much 
of the work of the Resistance by delivering messages 
and transporting supplies, often without the notice 
of their captors (Oriana FALLACI served the same 
function during Germany's occupation of Italy). 

When Allied forces finally defeated the Germans 
in 1945, the Greek communists and royalists were 
brought together in an uneasy coalition government, 
under the auspices of the British. However, when 
communists refused to disband their guerrilla forces, 
civil war erupted. With the aid of British and United 
States troops, the communists were defeated in 1949. 
Electra Apostoloy, who had been bludgeoned to 
death by the Greek secret police, did not live to see 
the communists' demise. 



174 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Further Reading 

Uglow, Jennifer S. The Continuum Dictionary of Women's 
Biography. New York: Continuum, 1989. 



A. AUNG SAN SUU KYI 

(1945- ) Myanmar nationalist 
political leader 

Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been 
under government surveillance since 1989 for violat- 
ing a ban on political activity and for criticizing the 
military rule of Saw Maung (1927-97). Suu Kyi is an 
internationally known leader of the movement to 
reestablish democracy in Myanmar and to resist the 
authoritarian rule of the military. She is the cofounder 
of the opposition party, the National League for 
Democracy (NLD). 

Myanmar is a nation located next to India on the 
coast of the Bay of Bengal. In 1886 the British colo- 
nized Burma (renamed Myanmar in 1980), combin- 
ing it with its Indian colony to the west. In the early 
20th century, a nationalist movement, composed of 
Buddhist groups, student organizations, and political 
parties, first began demanding separation from India 
and then independence from British rule. In 1942, the 
Japanese army, with the support of the Burmese Inde- 
pendence Army, invaded Burma to achieve its goal of 
expelling all Europeans from Southeast Asia. The 
Japanese declared Burmese independence in 1943. 
The weak Japanese-installed government, however, 
soon met resistance by a new organization, the Anti- 
Fascist People's Freedom League (AFPFL). When 
World War II ended in 1945 with the defeat of Japan, 
Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi's father and leader of the 
AFPFL, had monopolized nearly all political power 
and had formed a government. He began negotiating 
with the British to gain Burma's independence, 
granted on January 4, 1948, but was assassinated by 
his rival U Saw soon after. A new AFPFL leader, U Nu, 
took power and a new constitution was written. 
Burma became a sovereign republic in 1948. 

U Nu barely held onto the reins of government 
during the next decade. He faced constant strife 
between various ethnic groups and from communist 



insurgents, despite promoting both toleration of 
diversity and the establishment of Buddhism — a reli- 
gion characterized by quiet meditation — as the state 
religion. In 1962, General Ne Win (1911- ) over- 
threw U Nu and established military rule. 

Suu Kyi's parents, Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, 
gave birth to their third child, Suu Kyi on June 19, 
1945, as Aung San began forming his government. 
Aung San is known as the Father of Modern Burma, 
and his assassination when Suu Kyi was just three 
years old resulted in his martyrdom. Because of her 
father's status, Suu Kyi has always felt responsible for 
the welfare of Myanmar. 

Suu Kyi's education in India also shaped her polit- 
ical values (Suu Kyi's mother, Daw Khin Kyi, was 
named Burmese ambassador to India in 1960). Suu 
Kyi came to admire the teachings of nonviolent civil 
disobedience by Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi 
(1869-1948). She finished her education at St. 
Hughs College, Oxford University, in England, earn- 
ing her bachelor's and master's degrees in politics, 
economics, and philosophy. She met and married her 
husband, Professor Michael Vaillancourt Aris, with 
whom she has two children. Between 1985 and 
1986, Suu Kyi was a visiting scholar at the Center for 
Southeast Asian Studies at the Kyoto University in 
Japan; in 1987, she was a fellow at the Indian Insti- 
tute of Advanced Studies in Simla. 

Meanwhile, antigovernment riots in Burma 
resulted in the resignation of General Ne Win and a 
general atmosphere of chaos. For two months, democ- 
racy seemed imminent. Suu Kyi's mother suffered a 
stroke, and Suu Kyi flew to Rangoon to help her. 

On August 26, 1988, Suu Kyi delivered a speech 
in Rangoon, in which she called for the formation of a 
strong democratic movement to resist the militariza- 
tion of her country. She then cofounded and became 
secretary-general of the NLD, which espoused human 
rights and democracy. Suu Kyi condemned the mili- 
tary's political power and advocated compromise 
between civil and military authorities. In September 
1988, however, General Saw Maung seized control, 
imposed martial law, and replaced the constitutional 
government with the military-led State Law and 
Order Restoration Council (SLORC). During a 



175 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



speaking tour in July 1989, Suu Kyi was placed under 
house arrest; only her immediate family was allowed 
to see her. 

Elections held in 1990 resulted in an 80 percent 
win for NLD candidates to the People's Assembly. 
The representatives, however, were never allowed to 
take their seats. Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the 
Nobel Peace Prize (1991), the Sakharov Prize for 
Freedom of Thought (1991), and the International 
Simon Bolivar Prize (1992). The United Nations and 
other international humanitarian groups have called 
for her release. In January 1994, U.S. Congressman 
Bill Richardson (Dem-N.Mex.) met with Suu Kyi, 
her first nonfamily visitor since her arrest. In 1995, 
the government released her from house arrest, but 
the military junta continued to restrict her move- 
ment within Myanmar and abroad. 

In March 1999, her husband died of prostate can- 
cer before Suu Kyi could see him. If she had left 
Myanmar, she would not have been able to return; 
the government refused to issue her a visa. 

Further Reading 

Husraska, Anna. "Burma Dispatch: Lady in Waiting," The 
New Republic (1999): 16. 

Parenteau, John. Prisoner for Peace: Aung San Suu Kyi and 
Burma's Struggle for Democracy. Greensboro, N.C.: Mor- 
gan Reynolds, 1994. 

Stewart, Whitney. Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of 
Burma. New York: Lerner, 1997. Young Adult. 



A BOUHIRED, DJAMILA 

(1935- ) Algerian nationalist 
and defender of women's rights 

Tike Djamila BOUPACHA, Djamila Bouhired partici- 
pated in the Algerian struggle for independence from 
French colonists. Djamila Bouhired's brother encour- 
aged her to join with Algerian nationalist groups, and 
she worked as a liaison agent for the terrorist com- 
mander Yacef Saadi (1916- ). Bouhired was cap- 
tured in a raid and was accused of planting bombs 
that exploded at the Milk Bar and the Brasserie Coq 
Hardi in Algiers. Both bombs killed many civilians. 
Bouhired was captured and tortured in prison; subse- 



quently, she was tried, convicted, and sent to death in 
1957 (the sentence was not carried out). A film was 
made about her experiences in 1958. When inde- 
pendence was won in 1962, she became a candidate 
to the new National Assembly. 

Djamila Bouhired was born into a middle-class 
family and educated in French schools. When she 
was 22 years old, her brother Mustapha Bouhired 
inspired her to join the Front de la Liberation 
Nationale (FLN), a group of nationalists formed in 
1954 and dedicated to using terrorist tactics to rid 
Algeria of its French colonizers. 

French explorers had captured northern Algerian 
cities in 1830; by 1914, France controlled all of Alge- 
ria. Native Algerians began demanding a voice in 
government, but the French rejected all their 
attempts to create a representative government. After 
two decades of violent struggle, Algeria won its inde- 
pendence in 1962, and the French abandoned their 
claims to their former colony (see Djamila 
BOUPACHA for more on the Algerian revolution). 

When Bouhired decided to join the FLN, she 
quickly became aware of the sexist attitudes of her 
comrades. Yacef Saadi, for example, at first turned 
down her request to join by saying, "we don't want 
mice in the movement." Other women who tried to 
join were told that the FLN was not women's business. 

Bouhired was wounded and arrested after the 
bombing of the Algiers restaurants. After her death 
sentence had been announced, she was moved from 
a prison in Algiers to Rheims, France, where she was 
imprisoned until the end of the revolution in 1962. 
Two communist sympathizers, Georges Arnaud and 
Jacques Verges, defended her publicly in their book 
Djamila Bouhired (1957) , and they made use of her 
story as a symbol of Algeria's desire for independ- 
ence. In May 1959, El-Moudjahid, the voice of the 
FLN, declared Bouhired to be the best-known 
woman in Algeria. 

After Algerian independence, Bouhired became 
politically active. She was a candidate to the National 
Assembly but was not elected. She worked with 
Verges on the communist journal Revolution 
Africaine. She joined demonstrations against discrim- 
inatory legislation, and she signed petitions in protest 



176 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



of the same. She has spent most of her time raising 
her children in the post-revolution era. 

Bouhired, whom journalists have described as a 
good Muslim woman, responded to critics of the 
women's status in independent Algeria by saying that 
she is first a nationalist and then a woman. She admit- 
ted that she would like to become better educated but 
would only do so after her children were grown. One 
development in Algeria's government did send her out 
of her house and onto the streets again, however. 

The Algerian constitution (1962) guaranteed 
women's equality with men and granted women vot- 
ing rights (the French passed woman suffrage in 
1958). The constitution also made Islam the state 
religion. Voters elected 10 women deputies of the 
National Assembly. 

In 1981, the National Assembly drafted a piece of 
legislation known as the Family Code, which con- 
tained laws that discriminated against women. The 
codes included provisions requiring a husband's 
authorization to allow his wife to travel; it forbade 
women to marry non-Muslim men; and it stated that 
women could only work outside the home if their 
marriage contract stipulated that they could do so. 

On October 28, 1981, a demonstration against 
the Family Code took place before the National 
Assembly, comprising about 100 women and five 
men. Djamila Bouhired and other women revolu- 
tionaries led the second protest, held on November 
16. The women reminded lawmakers of the equality 
provision in the constitution. Assemblymen 
responded by telling the crowd that they should voice 
their concerns to the Union of Algerian Women, a 
government-controlled organization. By this time, all 
political parties except the FLN had been declared 
defunct; in essence, Algeria was a one-party system. 

The Algerian government passed the final Family 
Code in 1984. The National Assembly toned down 
some of the language, but most of its provisions 
remained. Bouhired signed a petition sponsored by a 
new organization, the Association for Equality Between 
Women and Men Under the Law. The petition 
demanded the abolition of the Family Code and the 
unconditional right of women to work. The association 
is open to all Algerian women, regardless of political or 



religious leanings. The government finally recognized 
the association in 1991. The United Nations (UN) and 
many other human rights organizations are currently 
reviewing the Family Code. In 1998, the UN described 
the Family Code, which it says perpetuates the subordi- 
nate status of women in the family and renders them 
effectively minors under the law, as the Muslim world's 
most restrictive law against women. However, 
Afghanistan's fundamentalist Islamic Taliban regime 
issued decrees in 1996 banning women from leaving 
their homes without a male relative and requiring the 
wearing of a burqa, a garment covering the entire body. 
Both nations, it would seem, have passed restrictive 
laws designed to keep women from participating fully 
in public life. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan was 
replaced in 2001 by an interim government that 
includes two women in its cabinet. 

Further Reading 

Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock, and Basima Qattan Bezirgan, 
eds. Middle Eastern Muslim Women Speak. Austin: Uni- 
versity of Texas Press, 1977. 

Gordon, David C. Women of Algeria: An Essay on 
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968. 



A GOLDMAN, EMMA 

(1869-1940) Russian/American political 
activist and intellectual 

"Born to ride a whirlwind." Emma Goldman lived up 
to this description of her, for she felt, as she wrote in the 
1920s, "nowhere at home." An immigrant in America, 
she uncovered unpleasant truths about democracy and 
industrialization that few people wanted to hear. Her 
advocacy of anarchism (the notion that all governments 
restrict human freedoms and should therefore be abol- 
ished), of free speech rights, and of birth control for 
women unsetded Americans at a time when war had 
threatened existing governments worldwide. Further- 
more, as a woman, Goldman posed a social threat, as 
women of her time rarely participated in public life. As 
a result, she was forced to flee her adopted home in 
1919. Until her death, Goldman tried to repatriate, but 
the U.S. government only allowed her to do so after she 
died of a stroke in 1940. She was buried in Chicago. 



177 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



In hindsight, Goldman's childhood prepared her 
for the life she would lead. She was born on June 27, 
1869, in Kovno, Russia (now Lithuania), to Jewish 
parents. Her mother, Taube Goldman, brought two 
daughters by a previous marriage to her new husband 
Abraham Goldman. When the couple's first child was 
also a girl, both Abraham and Taube looked upon 
Emma as an added burden. Even after Taube gave 
birth to two sons, Abraham could not forgive his 
daughter for being a girl. 

The family moved to Konigsberg, Prussia, where 
Emma started school. Teachers showed an interest in 
her intellectual development, helping her to prepare 
for examinations that would enable her to advance 
to the Gymnasium, an elite high school. She passed, 
but her religious instructor refused to grant her a 
certificate of character, which she needed for 
entrance to the prestigious school. In any case, her 
plans were cut short when her father announced that 
the family would return to Russia, where Emma 
would work in a glove factory owned by her cousin 
in St. Petersburg. 

Other events in Russia compounded her rebellious 
nature. Upon the family's return to Russia, a new tsar, 
Alexander III (1845-94), instituted laws that discrim- 
inated against Jewish people. At 12, Goldman had 
heard of pogroms, or massacres, against Jewish peo- 
ple. Economic conditions were so harsh for Jews that 
most were unable to maintain businesses and instead 
worked in factories. The straitened economic situa- 
tion in the Goldman household forced Emma to leave 
school and work in a garment factory. At 17, she 
defied her father's rules by leaving her home and flirt- 
ing with the men at the factory. One night, she fol- 
lowed her lover to a hotel room, where he plied her 
with alcohol and raped her. Following Jewish custom, 
her father had arranged a marriage for her, but Gold- 
man fled her parents' homeland in 1885 with her half 
sister Helena, in part to escape the pending marriage. 
Together, the girls arrived in Rochester, New York, 
anxious to make a new life for themselves and to expe- 
rience American freedom. Goldman found work at a 
clothing factory, where she earned $2.50 per week. 
Eventually, her parents joined her in Rochester, and 
her father achieved some success at a furniture busi- 



ness. Emma Goldman, however, became a critic of 
American capitalism. 

The 1886 Haymarket Square riot in Chicago 
became a turning point for Goldman. On May 1, 
workers all over the nation went on strike to demand 
an eight-hour workday. Two days later, two strikers 
were killed at Chicago's McCormick Reaper factory. 
The following day, May 4, a rally had been called to 
protest the killings at Haymarket Square. A bomb 
suddenly exploded in the midst of the rally. Seven 
policemen were killed, and eight anarchists were con- 
victed of planting the bomb. Seven of the eight were 
immigrants. The Haymarket incident exacerbated 
the nativistic, or antiforeigner, sentiment that 
engulfed many Anglo-Americans at the time. Fur- 
thermore, most immigrants who came to the United 
States from 1880 to 1920 were Catholic or Jewish, 
not Protestant. To many native-born Americans, 
their appearance and language seemed strange and 
sometimes threatening. Emma Goldman, one of 
those immigrants, responded both intellectually and 
actively to the Haymarket incident. 

Like many anarchists, Emma Goldman sought 
intellectual solutions to social problems. The Russian 
anarchist Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) argued that 
social justice would replace coercion by the govern- 
ment if authoritarian social hierarchies — such as gov- 
ernments and churches — were replaced with small 
political organizations in which all members partici- 
pated equally. In such a system, there would be no 
divisions between factory owners and factory labor- 
ers; all would operate the factories, and all would 
share profits equally. 

In her early years as anarchist, Goldman accepted 
violence as a method of social change. She and her 
lover, Alexander Berkman (also a Russian anarchist) 
plotted to kill Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), man- 
ager of Andrew Carnegie's (1835-1919) Homestead 
Steel plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Homestead 
workers had gone on strike to seek the eight-hour 
workday and to protest wage cuts proposed by Frick 
to offset the expense of new machinery at the plant. 
Guards had dispersed the strikers with bullets, 
ordered by Frick. The assassination plot was foiled, 
and Berkman was apprehended and jailed for eight 



178 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



years. Goldman had obtained the weapon, but she 
was never caught and did not admit taking part in 
the crime until 40 years later. 

In 1893, she was not so lucky. She had been 
speaking in New York City's Union Square to a group 
of unemployed workers, telling them that they 
should take bread if they were hungry. She was 
charged with inciting to riot and spent a year in jail. 

After serving her sentence, Goldman spent two 
years in Vienna, Austria, studying to become a mid- 
wife and nurse. When she returned, her position on 
violence had mellowed; she finally rejected the 
notion that the ends (justice for laborers) always jus- 
tify the means (violence), and the notion that anar- 
chism and violence went hand in hand. 

She abandoned neither anarchism nor public 
speaking, however, despite the fact that she faced vir- 
ulent opposition and censorship of her ideas. A book 
of essays, based on her speeches, was published in 
1911. She and Berkman edited Mother Earth, a radi- 
cal monthly, from 1906 to 1917. She read a libertar- 
ian message into the works of modern playwrights 
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) and George Bernard 
Shaw (1856-1950), publishing The Social Signifi- 
cance of the Modern Drama in 1914. 

Ibsen's play A Doll's House, about a wife who liber- 
ates herself from a stifling marriage, influenced her 
feminist leanings. She attacked conventional marriage 
from the standpoint that it resulted in women being 
treated as sex commodities. Inspired by Margaret 
Sanger's (1883-1966) birth control campaigns, she 
began lecturing on "voluntary motherhood" and fam- 
ily limitation. Then, in 1917, after the United States 
entered World War I, she was arrested for opposing the 
draft. Upon her release in 1919, immigration officials, 
led by J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), forced her to 
leave the country. Excited by the Bolshevik Revolu- 
tion, she went to Russia, but she soon perceived 
tyranny in the Leninist regime. After several attempts 
to return to the United States, she died in Toronto on 
May 14, 1940. 

Further Reading 

Chalberg, John. Emma Goldman: American Individualist. 
New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 



Drinnon, Richard, and Anna Marie Drinnon, eds. Nowhere 
At Home: Letters from Exile of Emma Goldman and 
Alexander Berkman. New York: Schocken Books, 1975. 

Falk, Candace. Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman. New 
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990. 

Shulman, Alix Kates. To The Barricades: The Anarchist Life 
of Emma Goldman. New York: Thomas H. Crowell, 
1971. 



A KELLY, PETRA (Petra Karin Lehmann 
Kelly) 

(1 947-1 992) German political activist 

Environmentalists, feminists, and peace activists from 
around the world know Petra Kelly as cofounder of 
Die Griinen (the Greens), a political party based on 
grassroots democracy, environmental awareness, and 
nonviolent social activism. Kelly's blend of environ- 
mental advocacy and feminism attracted the atten- 
tion of other feminists and philosophers, ultimately 
spawning a new philosophical movement known as 
ecofeminism. Ecofeminists believe that a special rela- 
tionship exists between women and nature, and they 
reject the notion that male domination over women 
and over the natural environment is "natural" or 
"normal." Ecofeminists also counter the notion that a 
"natural" affinity exists between male domination 
over women and nature, because to make such a 
claim implies a pattern of domination that cannot be 
disentangled. Environmentalism is a necessary part of 
resistance against all kinds of oppression, according to 
ecofeminists, for the promotion of community 
between all living beings. At the root of all of Kelly's 
thinking and activism is the fundamental notion that 
injustice in the world must not be allowed to stand. 

Petra Kelly was born on November 29, 1947, in 
Gunzburg, West Germany. Her father abandoned his 
family when Petra turned five. Her mother married an 
American soldier, John E. Kelly, who adopted his step- 
daughter. Kelly attended a Catholic convent school in 
Gunzburg, until the family relocated to the United 
States in 1959 (Kelly retained her German citizenship). 
After graduating from a Columbus, Georgia, high 
school in 1965, Kelly attended the America University's 
School of International Service in Washington, D.C. 



179 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Kelly's experiences in the Civil Rights movement 
and the antiwar movement in the United States 
deeply influenced the choices she made when she 
returned to Europe. The American South in the 
1960s caught fire during the Civil Rights movement, 
threatening to bring down the rest of the nation with 
its consumptive flames. Kelly identified with 
oppressed African Americans trying to regain the 
civil rights they had lost after Reconstruction 
(1865-77). Like many Americans in college during 
the 1960s and early 1970s, Kelly distrusted the U.S. 
government's involvement in the Vietnam War 
(1955-75). She mourned the loss of three heroic civil 
rights leaders during the turbulent decade: John F. 
Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, for whom she had cam- 
paigned in the 1968 election, and Martin Luther 
King, Jr., whose nonviolent ethics gave rise to her 
own. On a visit to Prague in 1968, she witnessed the 
Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Having seen the 
harassment of African Americans by local govern- 
ment officials during the Civil Rights movement, and 
then the brutality of the Prague Spring, Kelly became 
convinced that human rights violations were a global 
issue that required a unified, global commitment. 

In 1970, Kelly experienced human suffering closer 
to home when her 10-year-old sister Grace died of 
cancer. From that point on, Kelly fought against the 
civil and military use of nuclear power and weapons, 
and for mutual disarmament among the world's 
nuclear powers. Her activism within the antinuclear 
movement convinced her to become more politically 
active in her native West Germany. When she fin- 
ished college, Kelly returned to Europe to complete 
her graduate studies in political science at the Univer- 
sity of Amsterdam. She studied European integration 
at the Europa Institute while finishing her master's 
degree. After she finished school in 1971, she joined 
the ranks of civil service at the European Economic 
Community in Brussels, becoming its first female 
political administrator. Kelly researched labor prob- 
lems, public health issues, and environmental protec- 
tion, three concerns that led to her later political 
activism in West Germany. 

In 1972, Kelly joined the West German Associa- 
tion of Environmental Protection Action Groups and 



the German Social Democratic Party, supporting the 
candidacy of Willie Brandt (1913-92) in his bid for 
reelection as West Germany's chancellor. Brandt led 
the Social Democrats to their largest victory ever. 
Two years later, however, he was forced to resign in 
the face of a spy scandal, and Kelly became disillu- 
sioned by his inability to effect the fundamental 
changes in German society, especially in the areas of 
nuclear defense, health, and women's issues, that she 
sought. She looked for an organization that could 
reform society through the political process. An 
organization already existed that used an initiative 
process to effect stricter environmental laws and reg- 
ulations; however, Kelly was not satisfied with such a 
limited agenda, and she decided to help create an 
alternative political party. 

In March 1979, she took part in the founding of 
the Green Party. The Greens maintained the tradi- 
tional goals of West German citizens' initiatives in 
pursuing environmental and nonviolent policies. 
Kelly stressed the "anti-party," grassroots nature of 
the Greens by participating in the 1979 protests 
against the NATO decision to deploy more U.S. first 
strike missiles in West Germany. The party reached 
its heyday in 1983 when two million West German 
voters elected Green Party representatives to the Bun- 
destag, or lower house of parliament. Kelly herself 
became a representative, along with 16 other Greens. 
Kelly, however, took her seat in the Bundestag with 
some fear and trepidation, worrying that the party 
would lose its Utopian outlook and compromise its 
values. She rejected any alliance with the socialists, 
fearing that they would co-opt Green ideas. 

By now an international figure, Kelly was awarded 
the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1982, and Women 
Strike for Peace, an American women's peace organi- 
zation, named her Woman of the Year in 1983. In 
1992, Kelly traveled to New York to address the 
United Nations on Chinese human rights violations 
in Tibet and to attend the Women's Day ceremonies 
and activities. Later that year, on October 1, she was 
found shot to death at her home in Bonn, Germany, 
in what was presumed to be a murder/suicide com- 
mitted by her partner, Gert Bastian. The exact cir- 
cumstances of her death remain a mystery. 



180 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Further Reading 

Kelly, Petra Karin. Thinking Green!: Essays on Environmen- 
talism, Feminism, and Nonviolence. Berkeley, Calif.: Par- 
allax Press, 1994. 

Papadakis, Elim. The Green Movement in West Germany. 
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984. 

Parkin, Sara. The Life and Death of Petra Kelly. London: 
Pandora, 1994. 

Williams, Eric. "Last Words from Petra Kelly," Progressive, 
vol. 51 no. 1 (Jan. 1, 1993). 



A. LUXEMBURG, ROSA (Roszalia 
Luksenburg) 
(1871—1919) Polish German revolutionary 

Rosa Luxemburg's legacy lasted long after her brutal 
death at the hands of German soldiers in January 
1919. Luxemburg planted the seeds of leftist antiwar 
ideology that defined the alternative political culture 
of West Germany after World War II (1939-1945). 
(See also Petra KELLY.) East German dissidents, in 
opposing the government of the German Democratic 
Republic, chanted Luxemburg's slogan "freedom is 
always the freedom of she who thinks differently" as 
police arrested them on the anniversary of Luxem- 
burg's death in 1989. Luxemburg seemed to know 
that her words had staying power. "The revolution 
will rise again tomorrow thundering to the heights," 
she wrote, adding ominously, "and to your horror, will 
proclaim with trumpets, 'I was, I am, I shall be.'" Lux- 
emburg helped establish the socialist democratic par- 
ties in Poland and Lithuania and, with lawyer Karl 
Liebknecht (1871-1919), founded the Berlin under- 
ground Spartacus League that ultimately became the 
German Communist Party. 

Rosa Luxemburg's international outlook derived in 
part from her multinational background (she lived in 
Poland, Germany, France, and Switzerland), which left 
her open to transnational ideologies. She was a Marxist 
who believed in a workers' revolution that would trans- 
fer control of the means of production from capitalists 
to the workers themselves. The revolution would result 
in international socialism, where property and the dis- 
tribution of income would be subject to social control, 
rather than individual determination or market forces. 



Nationalism, or intense patriotism, became one of Lux- 
emburg's main themes: she lived during a time when 
the forces of nationalism in Europe ultimately led to 
World War I (1914-18). Luxemburg thought that 
nationalist sentiments only served to reinforce the 
power of the bourgeoisie (the middle class), distracting 
workers from the revolution. 

Rosa Luxemburg was born on March 5, 1871, to 
Line Lowenstein, a rabbi's daughter, and Eliasz Lux- 
emburg, a Jewish timber merchant, in the town of 
Zamosc in Russian Poland. At the age of three, she 
and her family relocated to Warsaw, where she 
attended a gymnasium open only to a select few Jew- 
ish students. Luxemburg excelled in her studies, but 
school officials denied her the golden medal because 
of her confrontational behavior, and because she had 
joined a group of revolutionary socialists. She fled to 
Switzerland at the age of 18 when her activities 
became known to the Russian secret police. 

In Switzerland, Luxemburg studied economics, phi- 
losophy, finance, and law at the University of Zurich. 
She met her longtime lover and companion Leo 
Jogiches (1867-1919), a Polish Lithuanian student and 
revolutionary like herself. The couple befriended 
worker and revolutionary August Bebel (1840-1913), 
the "Pope of Marxism" Karl Kautsky (1854-1938), 
and Luxemburg's lawyer Paul Levi (1883-1930), dur- 
ing their student days in Zurich. 

Crippled since childhood, Luxemburg neverthe- 
less traveled extensively all over Europe. She worked 
briefly in Paris before returning to Zurich to com- 
plete her dissertation on the industrial development 
of Poland. The work provided the foundation of the 
Polish Socialist Party's platform. In 1898 she moved 
to Berlin to become one of six women out of 261 del- 
egates to attend the Social Democratic Party congress 
in Stuttgart. Despite the distinction, however, Lux- 
emburg never fully joined the rising chorus calling 
for women's emancipation anywhere in Europe, 
although she did pen a few articles for her friend 
Clara Zetkin's periodical Gleichheit (equality). 

By 1905, Luxemburg had authored more than 90 
articles published in various newspapers and journals, 
mostly in Germany and Poland. Her dogmatism — 
and her sex — forced her out of her position as editor of 



181 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



the Sdchsische Arbeiterzeitung in 1909; male socialists 
effectively blacklisted her by calling her a "doctrinary 
goose" and a hysterical female. Aside from her socialist 
colleagues, Luxemburg's fiery radical prose got her in 
trouble with conservative forces as well; she landed in 
jail repeatedly for insulting the German Kaiser Wil- 
helm II (1859—1941) and the government in print. 

After completing her degree, Luxemburg accepted 
a teaching position at the school of the Social Demo- 
cratic Party in Berlin, during which time she wrote 
her two major works: The Accumulation of Capital 
(1913) and Introduction to National Economics 
(1925). Luxemburg argued that under capitalism, a 
national economy will reach a point when the 
demand for goods does not increase enough to keep 
up with the growing supply. Therefore, the capitalist 
nation must expand into nondeveloped nations to 
create new markets for its products, thus forming the 
conditions for imperialism. After Luxemburg's death, 
economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) cor- 
roborated Luxemburg's findings, but he suggested 
that rather than creating markets abroad, govern- 
ments could intervene directly in the economy and 
control supply and demand through government 
spending programs, and through the raising or lower- 
ing of taxes. Unlike Keynes, Luxemburg condemned 
capitalism. She also rejected the dictatorship over the 
proletariat that followed the 1917 Russian Revolu- 
tion and advocated instead internal democracy (see 
also Inesse ARMAND) . Nevertheless, she still believed 
in socialism; her ultimate goal in Germany was to 
establish a government based upon workers' councils. 

To help make her dream a reality, she participated 
in the post-World War I (1914-18) events that led 
to the abdication of Wilhelm II and the end of the 
German monarchy. She addressed the founding con- 
gress of the German Communist Party and assumed 
the editorship of Die Rote Fahne (the red flag), the 
party's newspaper. Although she advocated a gradual- 
ist approach to worker revolution, "Red Rose," as she 
came to be called, led the Berlin workers' call for rev- 
olution in January 1919. Luxemburg's head carried a 
bounty of DM 100,000, and soldiers beat her and 
gunned her down on the night of January 15, 1919. 
They were later acquitted. 



Further Reading 

Bronner, Stephen Eric. A Revolutionary for Our Times: Rosa 

Luxemburg. New York: Columbia University Press, 

1987. 
Ettinger, Elzbieta. Rosa Luxemburg: A Life. Boston: Beacon 

Press, 1986. 
Shepardson, Donald E. Rosa Luxemburg and the Noble 

Dream. New York: P. Lang, 1995. 



A MADIKIZELA-MANDELA,WINNIE 
(Winnie Mandela, Nomzamo Winifred 
Madikizela) 
(1936- ) South African political activist 

One of the most famous and controversial figures in 
South Africa today, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has 
devoted most of her life to ending the unequal treat- 
ment of black Africans under South Africa's system of 
apartheid. Wife of the African National Congress 
(ANC) leader Nelson Mandela (1918- ), Winnie 
took over his leadership position among South 
Africa's black population, especially its women, dur- 
ing her husband's imprisonment from 1962 to 1990. 
In the country's first multiracial elections in 1994, 
she became a member of parliament. However, she 
was also implicated in crimes committed during the 
apartheid era, and her testimony before the 1997 
Truth and Reconciliation Committee failed to clear 
her name. Mandela's actions raise questions about the 
use of violence as a method of forcing social change. 
For example, when are violent means of protesting 
oppression legitimate and justified? When does vio- 
lence on the part of the oppressed simply lead to 
worsening conditions? 

Madikizela-Mandela was born on September 26, 
1936, to Colombus Madikizela, a headmaster and 
cabinet minister in the Transkei homeland govern- 
ment (under apartheid, black South Africans lived in 
"homelands" separately from whites), and Gertrude 
Madikizela, a teacher. The Madikizelas were 
descended from leaders of Xhosa-speaking people of 
South Africa. Both Winnie's parents were mission- 
ary-educated and spoke fluent English. At 16, Win- 
nie left home to attend the Jan Hofmeyer School of 
Social Work in Johannesburg. She became the first 



182 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



black social worker in South Africa after her gradua- 
tion in 1955. She began working as a pediatric social 
worker at the Baragwanath Hospital. Through a col- 
league at the hospital, Winnie met Nelson Mandela, 
a lawyer and secretary-general of the ANC. A 
Methodist pastor married the couple in 1958. 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's first encounters with 
South Africa's security police occurred just after her 
marriage. The government required African men and, 
after 1958, African women to carry passes with them 
at all times. Passes were identification cards that 
included employment history and information that 
restricted blacks to the lowest paying, least desirable 
jobs available. African women took to the streets in 
protest of the new law. In October 1958, security 
police arrested thousands of black women, including 
Madikizela-Mandela. She spent two weeks in prison, 
losing her job at the hospital as a result. Shortly after, 
she gave birth to the couple's first daughter, Zenani. A 
year later, the family had another daughter, Zindziswa. 

In 1961, the South African government outlawed 
the ANC, and in 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested 
for his role in organizing the Umkhonto we Sizwe 
(Spear of the Nation), the ANC's armed defense 
organization. Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in 
prison; Winnie was served with banning orders, which 
meant that she was banned from making statements to 
the press, from addressing people publicly, and from 
leaving her home without permission. In 1967, the 
police arrested her for ignoring her confinement orders 
and resisting arrest. She was later charged under the 
Suppression of Communism Act, spending 17 months 
in solitary confinement. From the time of Nelson 
Mandela's imprisonment until his release in 1990, 
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela never knew when the 
police would burst into her house, harass her, or arrest 
her on trumped-up charges in an effort to mute her 
voice of protest. She sent her two daughters to board- 
ing school in Swaziland to protect them from harm. 

In 1977, she was forced into exile when the police 
arrested her and took her from her house in Soweto 
to live in the black township outside the rural town 
of Brandfort in the distant Orange Free State. By this 
time, however, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had 
learned how to capitalize on her struggles with the 



law. Her televised visits with her husband, during 
which she was never allowed physical contact with 
him, evoked international sympathy and monetary 
aid. She used the money to initiate social welfare pro- 
grams, which in turn helped to politicize the black 
population of Brandfort. 

In August 1985, another attack occurred: this 
time, her house near Brandfort was firebombed. Offi- 
cials did not investigate the crime nor make any 
arrests. In retaliation for the silence, Madikizela- 
Mandela decided to ignore her banning orders. She 
returned to Soweto and began speaking publicly 
against apartheid. When a police car chased her 
through Soweto's streets, a journalist captured the 
image on camera and published it worldwide; anti- 
apartheid activists throughout the world now had the 
symbol they needed to enlighten and ignite interna- 
tional attention to the situation in South Africa. 

The following years were increasingly controver- 
sial. In 1986, Madikizela-Mandela has been quoted 
as saying "With our matches and our necklaces, we 
will liberate South Africa." Necklacing refers to a 
practice of placing gasoline-soaked tires around the 
necks of people whom antiapartheid activists con- 
sider "traitors" to the cause and then setting them on 
fire. The ANC has issued a statement condemning 
the practice of necklacing. 

In 1990, authorities released Nelson Mandela 
from confinement. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela 
accompanied her husband outside the prison walls, 
where reporters were waiting to question the political 
leader. It seemed that the couple's nightmare was 
finally over, but several months later, Winnie Madik- 
izela-Mandela was charged with involvement in the 
1988 kidnapping and murder of youth activists. 
Mandela's bodyguards at the time, known collectively 
as the Mandela Football Club, were charged with the 
crimes. A court found Winnie guilty of kidnapping 
and being an accessory to assault; a judge commuted 
her sentence to a fine. At the end of the ordeal, the 
ANC elected her to its National Executive Commit- 
tee. The following year, after rumors that Winnie had 
an affair with a younger man, the Mandelas sepa- 
rated, and they divorced in 1996. Winnie changed 
her last name to Madikizela-Mandela. 



183 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's and Nelson Man- 
dela's fight against apartheid finally bore fruit when 
Nelson Mandela was elected president during the first 
multiracial election in South African history in 1994. 
Winnie won a seat in Parliament, but, after she 
severely criticized the government, voters ousted her. 
In September 1997, Madikizela-Mandela's past violent 
acts again interfered with her political aspirations. The 
Truth and Reconciliation Committee, designed to 
investigate crimes committed during apartheid, linked 
her to eight murders and other violent crimes. 

Further Reading 

Gilbey, Emma. The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie 
Mandela. London: Jonathon Cape, 1993. 

Harrison, Nancy. Winnie Mandela: Mother of a Nation. 
London: Gollancz, 1985. 

Mandela, Winnie. Part of My Soul Went with Him. New 
York: W. W. Norton, 1985. 



A MCALISKY, BERNADETTE (Josephine 
Bernadette Devlin McAlisky) 

(1948- ) Irish politician 

"The war is over," Bernadette McAlisky declared 
when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced a 
cease-fire in 1994, "and the good guys lost." 
McAlisky, also known as the five-foot firebrand, has 
been involved in the political power struggle between 
Irish Republicans and Union (Ireland's union with 
Great Britain) sympathizers for most of the late 20th 
century. An IRA supporter, McAlisky's political acts 
have, at times, resulted in her own victimization. In 
1969, Bernadette McAlisky was the youngest person 
ever elected to the British Parliament. Representing a 
young, radicalized Catholic population of Northern 
Ireland, her politics are an esoteric blend of socialism, 
Irish nationalism, anticlericalism, and feminism. 

Political strife, intertwined with religious differ- 
ences, has been a way of life for Ireland's inhabitants 
for hundreds of years. After more than a century of 
British rule, an Irish provisional government was pro- 
claimed in 1916. In 1920, the British government 
passed an act dividing the island into the independ- 
ent, mostly Catholic, Irish Republic in the south and 



the mostly Protestant Northern Ireland. Southerners 
rejected the division, but in 1921 British and Irish 
officials signed a treaty securing the separate states. 
Northern Ireland has its own parliament, which reg- 
ulates and administers education, commerce, and 
agriculture. Other powers, such as levying taxes and 
maintaining the military, are assumed by the British 
Parliament. Catholics in the Irish Republic and in 
Northern Ireland continue to clamor for a united, 
independent Ireland, while Unionists in Northern 
Ireland fight to maintain ties with Great Britain. 

Bernadette was born the third of six children to 
John James and Elizabeth Bernadette Devlin in Cook- 
stown, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland. Elizabeth 
had come from a strong farming family with staunch 
Republican sentiments. Bernadette attended St. 
Patrick's Academy in Dunganon, County Tyrone, and 
then entered Queen's University in Belfast in 1965 to 
study psychology. Her parents had died by the time 
she turned 19. 

Catholics in Northern Ireland had long claimed 
that Protestants — who held most of the political 
power in the province — violated their civil rights and 
discriminated against them in education, employ- 
ment, and housing. When the Northern Ireland gov- 
ernment tried to stop a civil rights demonstration in 
Londonderry (Catholics call the city "Derry") in 
1968, bloody riots broke out. The following year, 
antigovernment rallies occurred in Belfast and Lon- 
donderry; this time, British troops were sent to 
restore order but failed to stop further rioting. 

The violence, however, began wearing away the 
unity of Northern Ireland's Republican, Catholic pop- 
ulation. Younger Catholics grew weary of the "go slow" 
approach advocated by older, seasoned Republicans. 
They also considered civil rights for the Catholic 
minority in Northern Ireland as more important than 
Irish unity. Devlin sympathized with the Socialists 
who viewed unity among Republicans as impossible as 
long as class differences remained. 

Bernadette Devlin, an active participant in the 
uprisings of the 1960s, advocated emulating the 
African-American civil rights protests by organizing 
activist movements and holding protest marches. She 
was one of the founders of People's Democracy, a stu- 



184 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



dent group concerned with civil rights. The organiza- 
tion marched from Belfast to Derry amid attacks 
from police and militant Unionists. The People's 
Democracy won several seats in the Northern Ireland 
Parliament in March 1969. 

In April 1969, Devlin herself became a candidate in 
a by-election for the mid-Ulster seat to the British Par- 
liament (Ulster is the name of the Northern Ireland 
province). When she won the election, she became the 
youngest member of Parliament (M.P.) since William 
Pitt (1708-78). Later that year, the Protestant and 
Unionist Apprentice Boys' Parade in Londonderry set 
off another round of sectarian riots; this time, antici- 
pating the arrival of British troops, Catholics erected a 
barricade surrounding the Catholic area of town 
known as the "bogside." The face-off that occurred 
became known as the Battle of the Bogside. Devlin 
urged the growing militancy of the Catholic popula- 
tion; police arrested her for incitement to riot. She 
served a four-month term. Upon her release, she trav- 
eled to the United States to raise money for the North- 
ern Ireland relief fund. The mayor of New York City 
presented her with keys to the city, but many Irish 
Americans shunned her when she handed the keys to a 
leader of the Black Panther Party, a militant African- 
American organization. 

Reelected to Parliament in the June 1970 general 
election, Devlin lost the favor of many Catholics when 
she gave birth to an illegitimate child in 1971. In Jan- 
uary 1 972, she assaulted a member of the House of 
Commons, Reginald Maudling (1917-79), following 
the "Bloody Sunday" uprising in Londonderry which 
killed 13 people. On January 30, 1972, British sol- 
diers had opened fire on unarmed demonstrators in 
the Bogside. The march had been called to protest the 
internment of Irish Catholics without trial; the British 
government had introduced the practice of internment 
in August 1971 as a safeguard against terrorism. 

In April 1973, she married Michael McAlisky, a 
schoolteacher. The following year, she lost her Parlia- 
ment seat to a moderate anti-Unionist candidate. By 
1980, however, McAlisky reemerged in demonstra- 
tions supportive of the IRA hunger strikers, and in 
January 1981, she and her husband were shot while 
getting their three children ready for school. The 



gunmen were later identified as members of the 
extremist Ulster Defense Association, and they were 
sentenced to long prison terms. McAlisky remains 
chair of the Independent Socialist Party of Ireland, a 
political party she cofounded in 1975. 

Further Reading 

McAlisky, Bernadette Devlin. The Price of My Soul. New 

York: Knopf, 1969. 
Rose, Phyllis. The Norton Book of Women's Lives. New York: 

W.W.Norton, 1993. 



A MEER,FATIMA 

(1929- ) South African politician and 
sociologist 

Fatima Meer has the unfortunate distinction of being 
the first woman to be banned (unable to move about 
freely or to speak freely) by the white government of 
South Africa, though she might not see it that way. 
Throughout her career as a political activist, Meer has 
unabashedly flaunted her delight in being a public 
nuisance. She has participated in the African 
National Congress's Defiance Campaign against 
South Africa's system of apartheid and founded the 
banned Women's Federation and Black Women's 
Federation. In 1976, she was detained and refused a 
passport under the Internal Security Act. A sociolo- 
gist, Meer has written several books on racism in 
South Africa. Her primary contribution to the anti- 
apartheid cause has been her focus on interracial re- 
lations in her South African homeland. 

Born in Durban, South Africa, Meer is the daugh- 
ter of Indian immigrant Moosa Ismail, journalist and 
editor of The Indian View, a spin-off of Mahatma 
Gandhi's newspaper, Indian Opinion. Asian Indians 
arrived in South Africa primarily to work in the sugar 
plantations of Natal in the mid- 19th century. 
Gandhi (1869-1948) organized the Passive Resis- 
tance Campaign in defiance of the ban on travel by 
Indians between the Transvaal and Natal. Friction 
between migrant Indians and native Africans seeking 
scarce jobs exacerbated economic problems for both 
groups of people. Poor relations between Indians and 
Africans intensified during the 1949 riots in Durban. 



185 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Of the riots, Meer, who was a student at the Univer- 
sity of Natal at the time, recalled that African migrant 
workers were encouraged by the government to 
march into Indian areas and murder and loot. 

Meer organized women from the two main South 
African nonwhite political organizations, the Indian 
Natal Congress (INC), and the African National 
Congress (ANC), to form a combined activists' 
group called the Durban District Women's League. 
The organization's main goal was to reconcile the two 
hostile groups and help heal both communities. The 
problems were partly economic: in the 1950s, Dur- 
ban became a Mecca for landless Africans seeking 
work in developing industries. Durban District 
Women's League set up a milk program for impover- 
ished children to mitigate squalid economic condi- 
tions among African migrants. 

When Meer founded and became president of the 
Women's Federation in 1952, the white South 
African government grew increasingly wary of 
Indian/African alliances. The ANC and INC created 
joint activist committees, including the Defiance 
Against Unjust Laws Campaigns (modeled after 
Gandhi's earlier group), protesting banning and pass 
laws that required Africans to carry identification 
papers at all times. As a result of her work in the 
Women's Federation, Meer herself was banned, for 
the first time, from 1952 to 1954. 

During the 1960s, Meer concentrated on her aca- 
demic career. A lecturer at the University of Natal, 
she founded the Institute for Black Research and set 
up a publishing house, the Madiba Press. Meer's early 
books include Suicide in Durban: A Pattern of Sui- 
cides Among Indians, Europeans, and Coloreds (1964) 
and Portrait of Indian South Africans (1969). She also 
spent several years lecturing abroad to spread the 
word about the indignities suffered under the system 
of apartheid, which helped put pressure on the South 
African government to end its policies (nearly all 
apartheid provisions were abolished in 1991). Of her 
scholarship, Meer says that she makes no pretense at 
objectivity — her participation in the movement to 
eradicate the injustices suffered by South Africa's 
nonwhite populations is too important to sacrifice on 
the altar of scholarly objectivity. 



In 1975, the government banned Meer for a second 
time when she became president of the Black Women's 
Federation (the organization was also banned), and 
officials refused to issue her a passport. This time, she 
was imprisoned without trial. Meer described prison 
life in graphic detail, noting the intense boredom 
resulting from the total isolation and the same dull 
routine each day. She was forced to scrub her cell every 
morning and then taken to a small closet to wash her- 
self in a bucket of cold water. Her cell contained two 
buckets: one for drinking and one for a toilet. Officials 
released her after six months in jail. 

Meer lives in Durban with her husband, Ismail 
Meer, a lawyer. The couple had three children, one of 
whom died in an automobile accident. Fatima Meer 
has retired from politics but still writes books. Her 
latest offerings are a revised version of Apprenticeship 
of a Mahatma (1994), a children's book about 
Mahatma Gandhi, and a script on the same subject, 
which aired on South African television. 

Further Reading 

Meer, Fatima. Portrait of Indian South Africans. Durban: 

Avon House, 1969. 
Women in World Politics. D'Amico, Francine, and Peter R. 

Beckman, eds. Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey, 

1995. 



A MENCHU, RIGOBERTA 
(Rigoberta Menchu Turn) 

(1959— ) Guatemalan human 
rights activist 

Rigoberta Menchu's activism on behalf of human 
rights in Central America earned her the Nobel Peace 
Prize in 1992. Menchu's life, shaped by the turbu- 
lence of Central American politics, demonstrates the 
oppression of Central American indigenous popula- 
tions by the descendants of Spanish colonialists. 
Menchu based her activism, in part, on the liberation 
theology conceived of by Latin American Catholics 
beginning in the 1960s. Menchu's autobiography, 7, 
Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala 
(1984), has been highly praised as the catalyst of the 
politicization of indigenous populations; however, 



186 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



the book has also been criticized as misrepresenting 
the facts about Menchu's life. 

Guatemala, a nation sandwiched between Mexico 
to the north and El Salvador and Honduras to the 
south, has been torn apart by power struggles 
between military dictatorships and leftist insurgents 
during the late 20th century. The United States Cen- 
tral Intelligence Agency (CIA) toppled the democrat- 
ically elected President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in 
1954 when he began redistributing land owned by 
the U.S. United Fruit Company to landless peasants. 
The coup resulted in a series of military dictatorships 
that inspired antigovernment guerrilla movements in 
the country's remote Sierra Madre mountains in the 
central part of the nation. The government — con- 
vinced that the guerrillas were communist — 
responded with violence but applied its heavy hand 
indiscriminately against both innocent peasants and 
genuine threats. After repeated warnings against 
Guatemala's human rights violations, U.S. President 
Jimmy Carter suspended U.S. economic aid to the 
government in 1977. 

Menchii was born on January 9, 1959, in the vil- 
lage of Chimel in the northern Sierra Madre moun- 
tains to Turn, a midwife and healer, and Vicente 
Menchii, a day laborer and catechist. Menchu's par- 
ents spoke an indigenous language, Quiche, one of 
more than 20 different languages in Guatemala. 
Menchu's family picked cotton and coffee in southern 
coastal plantations and grew subsistence crops in the 
mountain home in the off-season, according to her 
autobiography. Menchii describes the sorrow of losing 
both her brothers to the harsh conditions most 
indigenous, or Indian, people experienced: one 
brother died of insecticide poisoning from the chemi- 
cals used on coffee plants, and the other died of mal- 
nutrition. At the age of 13, Menchii left home to 
work as a domestic for a wealthy Spanish family in 
Guatemala City. She recoiled at her first taste of dis- 
crimination, when she learned that indigenous people 
had few rights of citizenship, even though they made 
up about 60 percent of Guatemala's population. 

Meanwhile, Vicente Menchii and his followers, 
the United Peasant Committee, opposed the govern- 
ment's forceful takeover of Indian-occupied land on 



behalf of plantation owners. Vicente Menchii began 
his crusade with a series of petitions to the govern- 
ment and then protests to keep the land in the hands 
of indigenous people. In 1979, soldiers kidnapped 
Rigoberta's brother Petrocino; he was finally tortured 
and burned alive. A year later, Vicente and 38 others 
died in a fire at the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala 
City, while protesting Indian human rights abuses. 

The outrages suffered by her family at the hands 
of the Guatemalan government would have been 
enough to incite retaliation in the heart of Rigoberta 
Menchii, but Menchii cites liberation theology as an 
additional catalyst to her political activism and lead- 
ership. The liberation theology movement holds that 
Jesus Christ had a special message of freedom for the 
poor and oppressed, and followers seek to involve the 
Catholic Church in reform of social ills and human 
rights abuses. "[Peasants] felt everything the Bible 
said was coming to pass," Menchii declared during 
an interview. "With Christ's crucifixion, Christ's 
being attacked with stones, Christ's being dragged 
along the ground, one felt the pain of Christ, and 
identified with it," she explained. 

After her father's death in 1 979, according to her 
autobiography, Menchii led Guatemala's 22 Indian 
groups against further exploitation by the govern- 
ment. However, when her mother was kidnapped, 
raped, and killed by the army, Menchii sensed that 
she would be next. She fled to Mexico in 1981, where 
she joined the United Nations (UN) Working Group 
on Indigenous Populations. Venezuelan anthropolo- 
gist Elisabeth Burgos and Rigoberta collaborated on 
I, Rigoberta Menchu, a book that brought the plight 
of Central American Indians to the attention of 
human rights activists around the globe. The book 
was later made into a film, When the Mountains 
Tremble, which illustrates the suffering of 
Guatemala's mountain population. 

Menchu returned to Guatemala periodically after 
1988, though doing so put her in danger of arrest. In 
1992, when she learned that she would receive the 
Nobel Peace Prize, she accepted it on behalf of all the 
indigenous people of the world. Menchu was the first 
Indian and also the youngest person to receive the 
award. The honor was given to her "in recognition of 



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POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



her work for social justice and ethno-cultural recon- 
ciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous 
peoples." The $1.2 million award enabled her to set 
up a foundation dedicated to human rights. The UN 
declared 1993 to be the International Year for Indige- 
nous Populations, and, in Guatemala, Menchu 
played a key role in electing Ramiro de Leon Carpio, 
a human rights advocate, as president. Many 
Guatemalan refugees returned to their homeland 
from Mexico. 

In 1999, Middlebury College anthropologist 
David Stoll wrote a book highly critical of Menchii's 
autobiography. Using testimony and archival 
resources, Stoll, while acknowledging that the 
Guatemalan government's treatment of indigenous 
people was abhorrent, claimed that Menchu misrep- 
resented her own family background and her role as 
a leader of Guatemalan peasants. He also views 
Menchii's description of a political awakening and 
revolutionary consciousness among the mountain 
population as simplistic. 

Further Reading 

Menchu, Rigoberta. /, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian 

Woman in Guatemala. Elisabeth Burgos-Debray, ed. 

London: Verso, 1984. 
Silverstone, Michael. Rigoberta Menchu: Defending Human 

Rights in Guatemala. New York: Feminist Press at 

CUNY, 1999. 
Stoll, David. Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor 

Guatemalans. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999. 



A NAIDU, SAROJINI (Sarojini 
Chattopadhyay Naidu) 

(1 879-1949) Indian poet and politician 

"What care I for the world's loud weariness," wrote 
Sarojini Naidu in her poem "Solution to the Eternal 
Peace." But the poet and politician cared passionately 
for the anguish in the world, especially between Hin- 
dus, of which she was one, and Muslims, and for the 
loud cries of Indian nationalists who worked for 
independence from Great Britain. In 1947, after 
India won independence from Great Britain, Naidu 
became the first woman governor of the Indian state 



of Uttar Pradesh. Hindu and Muslim unity remained 
the strongest ideal of Naidu's life, for which she 
worked ceaselessly, but which never materialized. 
Naidu also campaigned for the education and eman- 
cipation of Indian women and for the abolition of 
purdah, the practice of secluding women. 

Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879, in 
Hyderabad, India, the eldest of eight children born to 
a Bengali Brahmin family. Naidu's father, Aghorenath 
Chattopadhyay, left Bengal to found and administer 
the Nizam College in Hyderabad, India. Her mother 
was the poet Varada Sundari. Naidu's birth in a state 
controlled by the Muslim nizam, or government, and 
where the elite culture was predominantly Muslim 
gave her many of the themes she explored in her 
poetry and an understanding of Muslim culture that 
became useful in her political life. Naidu served 
Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi's efforts to heal 
Hindu/Muslim hatred as a necessary step toward 
Indian independence. When Naidu was a young 
woman, she witnessed the partitioning of her Bengali 
ancestral homeland in 1905. When British rule of 
India ended, West Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa became 
part of the Republic of India. East Bengal went to 
Pakistan until 1971, when it became the independent 
state of Bangladesh. The following year, Naidu met 
with nationalist Gopal Krishna Gokhale at the Indian 
National Congress in Calcutta, where she began her 
lifelong participation in India's political life. 

Sarojini Naidu was educated in England at King's 
College, London, and Girton College, Cambridge. 
When she returned to India, she married Govindara- 
jul Naidu, a medical doctor who belonged to a low 
caste. The marriage caused much consternation in 
Sarojini's family and in orthodox Hindu society, but 
the couple enjoyed a long and happy marriage that 
produced two sons and two daughters. Naidu wrote 
about illicit love between members of different castes 
in her poem, "An Indian Love Song," one of several 
poems published in three slim volumes of poetry, 
The Golden Threshold (1905), The Bird of Time 
(1912), and The Broken Wing (1917). 

Naidu began her early political career by honing 
her oratorical skills — reportedly as lyrical as her 
poetry — and acting as an international spokes- 



188 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



woman for Indian unity and nationalism. When she 
was in India, Naidu toured the country giving 
speeches on independence and reading from her 
poetry. In March 1913, she addressed a huge gather- 
ing of Muslims at a session of the New Muslim 
League in Lucknow, a city in north central India. 
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Indian 
unity and independence. The following year, she met 
Mahatma Gandhi in London, becoming one of his 
most trusted followers and confidants. Gandhi sent 
her as his envoy to South Africa to help Indians in 
their struggle against the South African government's 
discriminatory policies toward the Indian popula- 
tion. In 1924 she returned to South Africa to investi- 
gate the labor conditions of Indian workers in the 
sugar plantations of Natal (see also Fatima MEER). 
The following year, she became president of the 
Indian National Congress, an organization made up 
primarily of Hindus seeking Indian independence 
from Great Britain. Naidu left India again for the 
United States at the behest of Gandhi in 1928, to 
lecture and to refute Katherine Mayo's sensational 
book Mother India (1927). In the book, Mayo 
asserted that India was not ready for independence. 

As tensions between Indians and the British 
mounted in the 1930s, Naidu's political activism 
put her in danger. In 1930 she took over the Anti- 
Salt Law campaign in defiance of the British 
monopoly on salt production and sale in India after 
Gandhi's imprisonment. Police arrested her when 
she led a raid on a salt depot on the Gujarat coast. 
Officials jailed her two more times for her participa- 
tion in the Quit India movement, launched in 
1942, which was Gandhi's final attempt to purge 
the British from India. 

When independence was finally won in 1947, it 
brought both ecstasy and immense sorrow to Saro- 
jini Naidu. As a result of religious conflicts the 
country was divided into Pakistan and India, and 
her beloved Gandhi was struck down by the bullet 
of a Hindu nationalist in January 1948. As the first 
woman governor of the largest state of India, Uttar 
Pradesh, she brought to her post her ability to unify 
and mollify religious tensions. She died in office on 
March 2, 1949. 



Further Reading 

Khan, Izzat Yar. Sarojini Naidu, the Poet. New Delhi: S. 
Chand, 1983. 

Naidu, Sarojini. The Bird of Time; Songs of Life, Death, and 
the Spring. New York: John Lane Co., 1912. 

Naravane, Vishwanath S. Sarojini Naidu: An Introduction 
to Her Life, Work and Poetry. New Delhi: Orient Long- 
man, 1980. 

Ramachandran Nair, K. R. Three Indo-Anglian Poets: Henry 
Derozio, Toru Dutt, and Sarojini Naidu. New Delhi: 
Sterling Publishers, 1987. 



A NATION, CARRY (Carry Amelia 
Moore Nation) 

(1846-191 1) American social reformer 

"Men are nicotine soaked, beer besmirched, whiskey 
greased, red-eyed devils." With these biting words, 
Carry A. Nation, having already earned disfavor 
among men, took up a hatchet and smashed men's 
favorite haunt in the 19th century: the saloon. As a 
temperance advocate (one who seeks to limit the 
excessive use of alcohol), Nation became an active 
member of the Women's Christian Temperance 
Union (WCTU). Active is putting it mildly: she 
smashed the doors, bars, and barrels in saloons all 
over the state of Kansas. Whether her rampages suc- 
ceeded is questionable. The organization she repre- 
sented, however, could claim some victories. 

Carry Nation joined 150,000 other temperance 
advocates to form the WCTU. From the 1880s 
through 1918, when the U.S. government passed the 
Volstead Act prohibiting the manufacture and sale of 
alcoholic beverages, temperance became one of the 
most important women's reform efforts in the United 
States, second only to suffrage, or the right of women 
to vote. Members of the WCTU became convinced 
that men's abuse toward women was rooted in drink, 
and that saloons were at least partly responsible for 
men's abuse of liquor. Furthermore, saloons housed 
other activities reviled by social reformers: gambling 
and prostitution. 

In the 19th century, women perceived of them- 
selves as the moral standard-bearers of the family and 
of society. As the United States evolved from an 



189 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



agricultural to an industrial nation, Americans 
moved from farms to urban centers, finding work in 
factories and businesses. Although thousands of 
women made factories productive along with men, in 
the ideal — if not the real — middle-class family, the 
husband went off to work while his wife remained at 
home. As more families rose to middle-class status, 
and as the middle class came to signify success in 
American society, women's ideal role became that of 
housewife. Perceived as primarily mothers and home- 
makers, women took on the task of raising children 
to be good moral citizens. If the home was the place 
where moral lessons were taught, then the saloon was 
deemed the opposite: a public place of debauchery. 

Women advocating temperance and other reforms 
tended to come from middle- or upper-class back- 
grounds; lower-class women's time was devoted to 
work both in and out of the home. Often, temper- 
ance activists assumed that saloons, and the activities 
that went on inside them, were a working-class vice. 
Furthermore, as the period from 1880 to 1920 repre- 
sented peak years of immigration, and as immigrants 
tended to come from the working class, they also 
became targets of the temperance movement. 

The WCTU used two strategies to reduce alcohol 
abuse. Many members believed that education would 
prevent the problem. The WCTU campaigned for 
the enactment of laws that would require schools to 
teach the dangers of drinking in all public schools. 
Other members, including Carry Nation, took a 
more active approach. 

Born on November 25, 1846, in Gerrard County, 
Kentucky, to the prosperous plantation owners Mary 
Campbell Moore and George Moore, Carry was a 
sickly child and spent much of her childhood reading 
the Bible. She met and married a young physician, 
Dr. Charles Gloyd, in 1867, in Belton, Missouri. 
Carry Gloyd believed that their only daughter, Char- 
lien, also weak and sickly, suffered because of her hus- 
band's drinking. She left Gloyd because of his habit 
and because he could not earn a living. He died six 
months later. 

Carry Gloyd tried to earn her own living as a 
schoolteacher. Soon, she wed David Nation, a lawyer, 
minister, and editor. The family moved to Texas, 



where Carry ran a hotel. She also began lecturing 
against the vices of alcohol and tobacco. In 1890, the 
family relocated to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where 
David became pastor of the Christian Church. Carry 
organized a local chapter of the WCTU, served as a 
jail evangelist, and taught Sunday School. 

The Nations divorced in 1901, leaving Carry with 
more time and energy to devote to temperance. The 
voters of Kansas had adopted a constitutional 
amendment in 1880 prohibiting the manufacture 
and sale of intoxicating beverages, except for medici- 
nal purposes. Kansas's saloon keepers violated that 
law, and Carry asked God to use her to save Kansas. 
She smashed her first saloon on June 1, 1900, using 
stones and bricks wrapped in newspaper, and an iron 
rod strapped to her cane. 

Supported by the WCTU, Carry Nation began 
her "hatchetation" in 1900. She moved around 
Kansas wielding a hatchet, undeterred by jail sen- 
tences (she sold pewter pins to help pay her fines), 
and gaining much publicity for her cause. Consider- 
ing the damage she did, she got off fairly lightly, but 
Nation knew that she had Kansas by the throat: 
Nation's hatchet jobs revealed an illegal traffic in 
liquor in Kansas, which was officially a dry state. 

Even as her effort won Nation and her cause 
front-page coverage in newspapers, her opponents 
began reaping their own benefits from her destructive 
bent. Saloonkeepers decorated their bars with hatch- 
ets and signs reading, "ALL NATIONS WELCOME 
BUT CARRY," while creative bartenders began con- 
cocting new drinks with names such as "the Carry 
Nation cocktail." 

Carry Nation died, penniless, on June 9, 1911. 
Her epitaph best sums up the success of her life's 
work: "She Hath Done What She Could." Certainly, 
Nation's strategy brought alcohol abuse to people's 
attention. It may also have served the opposite end: it 
further interested men in retreating to saloons to 
escape overzealous moralizers. The WCTU, however, 
could claim important successes. In 1900, as a result 
of a WCTU campaign, the secretary of the navy pro- 
hibited the use of alcohol by enlisted men. Two years 
later, the army, mindful of another WCTU drive, 
abolished alcohol in army canteens and persuaded 



190 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Congress to remove the bar in the U.S. Capitol 
building. Both the WCTU and Carry Nation made 
an important link between social reforms such as 
temperance and women's inability to force social 
change through the ballot (before the suffrage 
amendment passed in 1920). Perhaps Carry Nation 
said it best: "If you don't do it, then the women of 
this state will do it. . . . You refused me the vote, and 
I had to use a rock." 

Further Reading 

Beals, Carleton. Cyclone Carry: The Story of Carry Nation. 
Philadelphia: Chilton Co., 1962. 

Madison, Arnold. Carry Nation. Nashville, Tenn.: T. Nel- 
son, 1977. 

Smith, Helen. Carry A. Nation. Greensburg, Pa.: McDon- 
ald Sward Publishing Co., 1989. 



A NGOYI, LILIAN (Ma-Ngoyi, Lilian 
Masediba Ngoyi) 

(1911-1980) South African 
political activist 

Founder and president of the Federation of South 
African Women (FSAW) for more than 20 years, Lil- 
ian Ngoyi spent her life fighting against South Africa's 
system of apartheid and for women's rights. Her expe- 
rience in political and social organizations reached 
across several boundaries: she participated in workers' 
unions, political parties, and international women's 
organizations. Her motives for joining and forming 
these organizations varied: at times, she fought for a 
particular goal within a larger movement, while at 
other times, she actively sought solutions to a broad 
range of social ills. Although the South African govern- 
ment silenced and physically restrained her, Ngoyi 
resisted all attempts to stifle her activism. 

Ngoyi was born to a Bapedi family in the village 
of Gamatlala near Pretoria, South Africa. She 
attended primary school in the village of Kilnerton, 
but poverty forced an end to her formal education 
after one year of high school. She had an experience 
during the years that she worked as a domestic ser- 
vant that would shape her later life. She was deliver- 
ing laundry for her mother to a white housewife who 



refused to let Lilian or her younger brother into her 
house. Later, she saw the woman take a stray dog into 
her house. A question nagged at Lilian: why could 
not a black child enter a house, while a dog could? 

She left domestic service in 1935, when she began 
working as a nurse's assistant and trainee. She met 
and married a van driver, but the marriage ended 
with his death at an early age. The couple had one 
daughter and an adopted son. 

To support herself after her husband's death, 
Ngoyi found work as a machinist at a clothing fac- 
tory. During this time, she became a pro-labor and 
antiapartheid activist. She experienced firsthand the 
exploitative wages and working conditions worsened 
by the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s 
and '40s, and she became convinced that a labor 
union could improve the lives of working-class 
blacks. She joined the militant Garment Workers' 
Union and became a leader of one of its local offices. 

In the early 1950s, Ngoyi joined the African 
National Congress (ANC). Nationalists had formed 
the ANC in 1912 to fight for black South Africans' 
rights. Since the Dutch East India Company built a 
provision station at Cape Town in 1652, Europeans 
have been a powerful minority in South Africa 
(black Africans make up about 75 percent of the 
population today). Dutch, German, and French 
people, known collectively as Boers (farmers), began 
settling in South Africa during the 18th and 19th 
centuries and creating independent Boer republics. 
British immigrants began pouring into South Africa 
when explorers discovered gold in Transvaal; imperi- 
alists in Great Britain launched a campaign to take 
over the Boer republics. The Boer War (1899-1902) 
resulted in British victory and sovereignty in South 
Africa. In 1913, the Native Land Act introduced ter- 
ritorial separation, restricting black Africans to 
homelands, which consisted of only 15 percent of 
the total area of South Africa. The Native Land Act 
anticipated a series of "homeland" laws that insti- 
tuted South Africa's system of apartheid. The gov- 
ernment passed the Mixed Marriage Act and the 
Immorality Amendment Act in 1948, which out- 
lawed marriage and sexual relations between differ- 
ent races. The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act 



191 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



(1953) segregated transportation and public places. 
The government then created separate local admin- 
istrations according to racial groups. 

Before apartheid ended in 1992 (South Africans 
can now live anywhere and the homelands have been 
abolished), the ANC fought against the restrictions 
imposed by the system. Lilian Ngoyi took part in the 
1952 Defiance Campaign, in which black South 
Africans collectively defied apartheid laws. As part of 
this campaign, she ignored "Whites Only" signs hung 
in public buildings such as post offices, for which she 
was arrested and sentenced to prison. The Defiance 
Campaign, along with other ANC activities, resulted 
in the governmental ban on the organization in 1960, 
forcing the organization underground. Meanwhile, in 
1954, Ngoyi became president of the ANC's Women 
League; in 1956, she became the first woman elected 
to the ANC National Executive Committee. The year 
1954 also marked the formation of the FSAW; Ngoyi 
became its president in 1956. In essence, the ANC 
and the FSAW represented the only political organiza- 
tions in which black South Africans could participate. 
From 1959 until apartheid ended, South Africa's Par- 
liament included separate houses for whites, Asians, 
and coloreds (mixed-race people); blacks had no rep- 
resentation at all. 

The Federation of South African Women was 
formed to agitate against the extension of the abhor- 
rent "pass laws" to women. Beginning in the 1950s, 
pass laws (officially called "influx control") were insti- 
tuted to help enforce the segregation of races and pre- 
vent blacks from encroaching in white areas. The 
government required all nonwhites to carry docu- 
ments authorizing their presence in restricted areas. 
The idea was to keep black laborers away urban areas 
where white workers competed for jobs. In 1960, the 
pass laws were extended to women. 

During her tenure as president of the FSAW, 
Ngoyi represented South African women at various 
conferences, including the International Democratic 
Federation of Europe. In 1954, she and a compan- 
ion, Dora Tamane, slipped out of South Africa with- 
out a passport to attend the World Congress of 
Women in Switzerland. She also visited Russia, 
China, and other eastern bloc countries. 



Back in South Africa, on August 8, 1956, Ngoyi 
and the FSAW organized one of the largest demonstra- 
tions in South African history to protest the pass laws. 
Ngoyi led protesters to the government buildings in 
Pretoria, South Africa's administrative capital. There, 
authorities placed her under arrest and charged her 
with high treason. Four years later, she spent five 
months in jail — 71 days in solitary confinement — 
during the 1960 State of Emergency, in which the 
ANC launched a massive antigovernment campaign. 
Upon her release from prison, Ngoyi was acquitted of 
the 1956 treason charge. August 8 has been celebrated 
as South African Women's Day ever since. 

After 1962, Ngoyi lived essentially under house 
arrest. The government served her with banning 
orders, which meant that she could not leave her 
hometown of Orlando, near Johannesburg. The gov- 
ernment lifted the banning order in 1972 but then 
reinstated it in 1975. In an interview with Drum 
magazine (see Bessie HEAD) in 1972 she stated, "My 
spirits have not been dampened." "I am looking for- 
ward to the day when my children will share in the 
wealth of our lovely South Africa." Ngoyi did not live 
to see the 1994 all-race election in South Africa, 
when voters chose Nelson Mandela (1916- ) and 
the ANC to lead the nation in a transition to democ- 
racy. She died on March 13, 1980. 

On March 22, more than 2,000 mourners, wear- 
ing the ANC's colors of black, green, and gold, 
attended Lilian Ngoyi's funeral in Soweto, Johannes- 
burg's black township. Among the speakers were 
Helen Joseph (1905-92), another participant in the 
anti-pass law demonstration, and Bishop Desmond 
Tutu (1931- ). Two years after her death Lilian 
Ngoyi became the first woman awarded with the Isit- 
walandwe, the highest award in South Africa, granted 
by the African National Congress to honor those 
who participated in the liberation struggle. 

Further Reading 

Makers of Modern Africa. London: Published by Africa 
Journal Ltd. for Africa Books, Ltd., 1996. 

Stewart, Diane. Lilian Ngoyi. Cape Town: Maskew Miller 
Longman, 1996. 

Walker, Sherryl. Women and Resistance in South Africa. 
Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1983. 



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A NGUYEN THI BINH (Madam Nguyen 
Thi Binh) 

(1927— ) Vietnamese national politician 

Affectionately also known as the Flower and Fire of the 
Revolution, Nguyen Thi Binh (her given name, Binh, 
means "peace") is the vice president of the Socialist 
Republic of Vietnam. She took part in the nationalist 
uprising against French colonialism in Vietnam, and 
later against American intervention in the Vietnam 
War. Her activism resulted in a jail term from 1951 to 
1953. She held various posts in the Provisional Revo- 
lutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet- 
nam. She was her nation's chief negotiator at the Paris 
peace talks that officially ended U.S. involvement in 
Vietnam in January 1973, and she was one of the sig- 
natories of the Paris Agreement between South Viet- 
nam, North Vietnam, and the United States. Since the 
end of the war in 1975, she has held several appointed 
and elected positions in the government of the Social- 
ist Republic of Vietnam. 

Nguyen was born on May 26, 1927, into the 
family of a middle-class administrative bureaucrat in 
Quang Nam province. Her political awakening 
occurred in college, when she discovered that educa- 
tors considered the Vietnamese language inferior to 
the French language. She joined the movement of 
students and intellectuals against French colonization 
of Vietnam, as her grandfather, Phan Chu Trinh, a 
revered nationalist hero, had done before her. 

The Vietnamese had lived under Chinese domi- 
nation for more than 1,000 years, followed by 100 
years of French colonialism from 1858 to 1954. For 
five years, until the United States defeated the Japan- 
ese in 1945, Vietnam was a French-administered ter- 
ritory of Japan. At the end of World War II 
(1939-45), while Nguyen was a teenager, Vietnam 
became a divided nation. In the north, communist 
leader Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) declared the for- 
mation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, rec- 
ognized by China. In the south, the British helped 
restore Vietnam as a French colony. France estab- 
lished former Vietnamese emperor Bao Dai as the 
new governor of Vietnam. Bao Dai's government was 
immediately recognized by Western powers, but 



clashes between Ho Chi Minh's nationalists and the 
French led to war, which ended in French defeat at 
Dien Bien in 1954. 

In 1954, Western powers held negotiations in 
Geneva, Switzerland, to try to solve the Vietnam crisis. 
The Geneva Accords agreement recognized the sepa- 
rate governments of North Vietnam and South Viet- 
nam, and a new leader in the south, Prime Minister 
Ngo Dinh Diem (1901-63), appointed by Bao Dai 
under U.S. pressure. Elections were to be held in 1956 
to reunite the north and south. Diem, who was anti- 
French but pro-American, opposed the Geneva agree- 
ment, and in 1955 he declared himself to be president 
of the new Republic of Vietnam (Diem dethroned Bao 
Dai in 1955). The 1956 elections were never held 
(most historians acknowledge that Ho Chi Minh 
would have won the election). Guerrilla warfare broke 
out between North and South Vietnam. 

In the early '60s, alarmed by the possibility of 
communists taking over South Vietnam, the 
Kennedy administration began intervening in the 
war, sending military advisers to aid the South Viet- 
namese government in its fight against the commu- 
nist north. President Lyndon Johnson (1908-73) 
escalated the American presence in Vietnam and 
began sending in U.S. troops in 1964. 

Nguyen had participated in anticolonial move- 
ments, organizing demonstrations to protest the 
French occupation of Vietnam. She joined the mili- 
tant Association of Progressive Women, and on 
March 19, 1950, she rallied with other students to 
protest the presence of an American naval fleet 
anchored near Saigon, in the South China Sea. 
Arrested after a similar protest in 1951, her antigov- 
ernment activities resulted in a three-year jail sen- 
tence, which she served in Chi Hoa jail (where prison 
officials, according to Nguyen, tortured her using 
water and electricity). Released after the Geneva 
Accords, she became a schoolteacher, while actively 
encouraging the Geneva agreements. 

In 1960, Nguyen joined the National Liberation 
Front (NLF), which called for a national uprising 
against President Diem's government, and Nguyen 
became a top diplomat and negotiator for the NLF. 
In 1966 she announced to cheering delegates to the 



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POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



23rd congress of the Soviet Communist party in 
Moscow that the Viet Cong controlled "a liberated 
territory occupying four-fifths of the territory of 
South Vietnam." The NLF, it seemed, had built a 
viable government and army in the span of five years. 

She also became a member of the Central Commit- 
tee of the National Front for the Liberation of South 
Vietnam, and vice chairman of the Women's Libera- 
tion Association of the South of Vietnam. In 1969, as 
U.S. President Richard Nixon (1913-94) began troop 
withdrawals from Vietnam (while at the same time 
conducting a covert bombing campaign of neighbor- 
ing Cambodia and thus widening the war), Nguyen 
became the minister of foreign affairs of the Provi- 
sional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of 
South Vietnam. The following year, the government 
chose her to be the head of the Delegation of the Pro- 
visional Revolutionary Government at the Paris Con- 
ference on Vietnam. She participated in negotiations 
to end the war, always demanding the complete with- 
drawal of American troops. She made agreements with 
the United States to release American prisoners of war 
in exchange for the withdrawal. In addition to acting 
as spokesperson for the NLF, Nguyen chaired the 
Women's Liberation Association from 1963 to 1966; 
the organization claimed more than 1,000,000 mem- 
bers who helped secure equal rights for women. 

In January 1973, negotiators arranged a treaty 
between North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the 
United States. A cease-fire commenced, and the U.S. 
promised to help North Vietnam rebuild after the 
war. By March 1973, the last American soldiers had 
been sent home. The government of South Vietnam, 
however, did not last. In 1975, communists marched 
into Saigon, and in 1976, South Vietnam and North 
Vietnam were reunited and renamed the Socialist 
Republic of Vietnam (SRV). 

From 1976 to 1987, Nguyen Thi Binh served her 
new nation as minister of education. From 1987 to 
1992, voters elected her deputy to the National 
Assembly legislature four times. In 1992, she was 
elected vice-president of the SRV, and reelected in 
1997. "People ask why I am in politics," stated 
Nguyen. "If you mean by politics the fight for the 
right to live, then we do it because we are obliged to." 



Further Reading 

Eisen, Arlene. Women and Revolution in Vietnam. London: 

Zed Books, 1984. 
Status of Women: Vietnam. Bangkok: UNESCO Principal 

Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, 1989. 
Vietcong View of War: Interview with Foreign Minister Binh 

of South Vietnam Concerning the Vietnam War. New 

York: Encyclopedia Americana/CBS News Audio 

Resource Library, 1972. Audiocassette. 



X OVINGTON, MARYWHITE 

(1865—1951) American political reformer 
and activist 

Mary White Ovington vigorously pursued several 
courses of social change during her life: feminism, 
pacifism, civil rights, and socialism. One of the 
founders of the National Association for the 
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, 
Ovington found that, as the new century progressed, 
the various social and political reforms she became 
involved with all converged during the years leading 
up to "World War I (1914-18). Ovington's primary 
concern, however, remained that of race relations in 
the United States. 

When American historians write about the Pro- 
gressive Era (the period from 1890 to 1920 when 
Ovington did most of her work), they often discuss 
the variety of political and social reforms that 
attempted to reduce the negative impact that indus- 
trialization had on American workers. For example, 
reformers lobbied for shorter working hours, better 
working conditions, and the ending of child labor, all 
of which improved the life of American workers. For 
one group of Americans, however, the Progressive Era 
did not result in progress; instead, for many African 
Americans, conditions deteriorated. 

Ovington was born on April 11, 1865, in Brook- 
lyn, New York, to wealthy Unitarian abolitionists Anne 
Louise Ketcham Ovington and Theodore Tweedy 
Ovington. She attended Packer Collegiate Institute 
and Radcliffe College. In 1909, an event occurred that 
inspired Ovington to act. In Springfield, Illinois, a race 
riot bloodied the streets of President Abraham Lin- 
coln's hometown. By 1900, the town of Springfield had 



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POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



nearly doubled in size from Lincoln's time, due to the 
influx of African Americans from the south and immi- 
grants from southern and eastern Europe, all compet- 
ing with native-born Americans for scarce factory and 
mining jobs in the area. The irony of racial strife occur- 
ring in a town closely associated with Lincoln, the man 
who had emancipated the slaves, spurred a small band 
of white liberals to form an organization that still exists 
today: the National Association for the Advancement 
of Colored People (NAACP). Many of the founders of 
the NAACP, including Ovington, were descendants of 
abolitionists, or 19th century reformers who had 
fought for the end of slavery. Ovington became more 
directly involved in civil rights when she heard a speech 
on the plight of blacks in America given by a promi- 
nent African-American educator, Booker T. Washing- 
ton (1856-1915). In response, she undertook a study 
of conditions in her own area, called Half A Man: The 
Status of the Negro in New York, published in 1911. 

In addition, many of the NAACP founders were 
socialists, as was Ovington. As socialists, the reform- 
ers thought that the U.S. government should have 
more control over industrial production, instead of 
industry being under the control of private corpora- 
tions. Not surprisingly, socialism had hit its high- 
point of popularity at a time when the effects of 
industrialization were most serious. Overcrowded 
cities, labor strikes and riots, and serious economic 
depressions in 1897 and 1907 led many to question 
the benefits of industrial capitalism. The U.S. gov- 
ernment had promoted industrialization by, for 
example, securing land for railroads helping to 
industrialize the western states; however, progressive 
politicians increasingly insisted that the federal gov- 
ernment restrict unchecked industrialization. Pro- 
gressivism's detractors warned that government 
intervention in free-market capitalism smacked of 
socialism. Afraid of seeming too radical, the NAACP 
did not advocate socialism as a means of bettering 
the lives of African Americans. 

Instead, it advocated the attainment of complete 
civil and political rights for blacks as a way of overcom- 
ing blacks' history of enslavement. Mary White Oving- 
ton held many leadership positions within the NAACP, 
including chairman of the board from 1919 to 1932. 



Many people who advocated civil rights for 
African Americans also pursued woman suffrage as a 
way to widen the scope of participation in the Amer- 
ican political process. The entry of the United States 
into World War I in April 1917, however, divided 
suffragists. Many women felt that supporting the war 
effort would encourage passage of a suffrage amend- 
ment (they were right). Other women could not 
bring themselves to support the destructiveness of 
war. Pacifist suffragists, such as the New York 
Woman's Peace Party (NY- WPP), argued that, once 
women did obtain the right to vote, war would not 
be as likely to occur. 

Ovington wrote pieces for the NY-WPP journal 
called Four Lights. In the August 25, 1917, issue, she 
attacked President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 
for his indifference toward the atrocities committed 
against African Americans during the East St. Louis 
riot in July. "Six weeks have passed since the race riots 
of July and no public word of rebuke, no demand for 
the punishment of the offenders, has come from our 
Chief Executive," charged Ovington. "The American 
Negroes have died under more horrible conditions 
than any non-combatants who were sunk by German 
submarines. But to our President, their deaths do not 
merit consideration." American military troops exac- 
erbated the race riots, reported Ovington. 

Ovington and other members of the NY- WPP 
noted the contradictions between the U.S.'s war aim 
of spreading democracy to other countries, and its 
unwillingness to provide a democratic system of jus- 
tice for African-American citizens living within its 
own boundaries. 

Similarly, Ovington pointed to contradictions 
within the women's movement. Racial attitudes 
deflected attention from the need for woman suf- 
frage, and racial prejudices among reformers threat- 
ened to divide and weaken the suffragists. After the 
Suffrage Amendment passed in 1920, members of 
the National Woman's Party (NWP) planned to hold 
a ceremony in Washington, D.C., to honor women 
who had devoted their lives to the cause. The NWP 
decided to hold the event in February 1921, to coin- 
cide with the 101st birthday of Susan B. ANTHONY. 
Busts of Anthony, Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), and 



195 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Elizabeth Cady STANTON would be unveiled in the 
Capitol, followed by a meeting of the NWP to deter- 
mine what course the organization should pursue, 
now that the goal of suffrage had been reached. As 
the NWP began planning the meeting's agenda, 
Ovington expressed concern that southern women 
had opposed suffrage for black women, and she 
urged the NWP to include a plank endorsing black 
women's right to vote at the meeting. She suggested 
that the secretary of the National Association of Col- 
ored Women, Mary Talbert, be invited to speak and 
that a committee be formed to investigate discrimi- 
nation in the South. Ovington clearly understood 
that continued prejudice against black women weak- 
ened and divided the women's rights movement. 
Both the National Association of Colored Women 
and the National Republican Colored Women's Club 
were represented at the February ceremony. 

Mary White Ovington died on July 15, 1951, in 
Newton Highlands, Massachusetts. Her life and 
work synthesized the multitude of Progressive Era 
reforms that marked the early 20th century, includ- 
ing civil rights, suffrage, and pacifism. Studying 
Ovington's work enables historians to see how open- 
ing the doors of democracy for one disenfranchised 
group of Americans, such as African Americans, 
resulted in the knocking and pushing open of other 
closed doors, as well. 

Further Reading 

Kuhlman, Erika. Petticoats and White Feathers: Gender, 
Race, the Progressive Peace Movement, and the Debate 
Over War, 1895-1919. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood 
Press, 1997. 

Ovington, Mary White. Black and White Sat Down Together, 
ed. Ralph Luker. New York: Feminist Press, 1995. 

Wedin, Carolyn. Inheritors of the Spirit: Mary White Oving- 
ton and the founding of the NAACP. New York: Wiley, 
1998. 



A PARKS, ROSA (Rosa Lee McCauley Parks) 

(1913—2005) American civil rights activist 

Rosa Parks ignited the Civil Rights movement in the 
United States, a movement that dramatically changed 



the lives of millions of Americans, particularly those 
living in the southern states. Parks, an energetic 
woman, started the movement because, on one 
evening after a long day at work, she had grown 
weary. Her weariness stemmed from a variety of 
sources. She worked as a tailor's assistant at a Mont- 
gomery, Alabama, department store and spent long 
hours helping persnickety customers. She witnessed 
the endless devotion of Montgomery city officials to 
color: blacks could go here, but not there. Whites 
were generally allowed everywhere but did not care to 
go where blacks were. She had grown tired of being 
told by Montgomery's bus drivers where she could 
and could not enter the bus, and where she could and 
could not sit once she got onto the bus. Finally, she 
was weary of the rudeness exhibited toward black 
people by one bus driver in particular. So when, on 
December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks climbed aboard the 
Cleveland Avenue bus after she finished work at the 
Montgomery Fair Department Store, she suddenly 
found the energy to carry through a plan that she had 
conceived of long before. 

The first 10 rows of the bus were reserved for 
whites, one of many Jim Crow laws designed to 
maintain white privilege and supremacy. Parks sat 
down next to a man sitting in the last row of seats in 
the white section, because the black section of the 
bus was full. Soon, a white passenger entered the bus 
and began looking for a seat. Customarily, when a 
"white" seat was occupied by a black person, the 
black person relinquished his or her seat to the white 
passenger and either moved to the back of the bus or 
stood up until a seat in the "black" section came 
open. On the night of December 1 , when the white 
passenger stood expectantly before the black passen- 
gers in the "white" section, four black people left 
their seats. But Rosa Parks remained seated. The 
white passenger complained loudly to the bus driver, 
and he called the police. 

This particular night was not the first time that 
Rosa Parks had performed this small act of civil dis- 
obedience. Twelve years earlier Parks, who had been 
born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, and 
educated at Montgomery Industrial School for Girls, 
had been thrown out of the bus by the exact same bus 



196 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



driver for entering the bus from the front, instead of 
the rear door. Another way that blacks were to tip their 
hats to white supremacy was by only entering the bus 
from the rear, so that the whites sitting in the front of 
the bus would not have to encounter them. African- 
American activists in Montgomery had already been 
making attempts to rectify injustices relating to the bus 
system, including getting service extended into Mont- 
gomery's segregated black neighborhoods. Black rid- 
ers, after all, constituted three-quarters of all bus riders 
in Montgomery (for obvious reasons: blacks were less 
likely to be able to afford transportation of their own). 
Boycotting the system had been discussed, but noth- 
ing ever came of it. Rosa Parks's own organization, the 
Women's Political Council, an organization at the fore- 
front of civil rights issues in Montgomery, had com- 
piled lists of volunteers and even mimeographed fliers 
to be distributed: all that was needed was an incident 
to get the ball rolling. 

Rosa Parks took the ball into her own hands on 
December 1. The police car that the Cleveland 
Avenue bus driver had radioed pulled up alongside 
the bus. An officer emerged from the car, boarded the 
bus, and led Parks into the police car. From there, the 
police drove Parks to police headquarters, where an 
officer fingerprinted her and led her into a jail cell. 
She was later released on a $100 bond to Edgar 
Daniel Nixon, a National Association for the 
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) member, 
and Clifford Durr, a white liberal lawyer. A clerk 
scheduled Parks's hearing for December 5. 

The following day, December 2, the Women's 
Political Council distributed fliers calling for a one- 
day boycott of Montgomery buses on the day of 
Parks's hearing. On that day, more than 7,000 blacks 
convened at the Dexter Street Baptist Church. The 
group organized the Montgomery Improvement 
Association (MIP) and elected Martin Luther King, 
Jr., as their president. The MIP voted to continue the 
boycott indefinitely by organizing carpools, encour- 
aging people to walk and bicycle. Some taxi drivers 
offered cut-rate fares. About 30,000 blacks stayed off 
the Montgomery buses. 

Meanwhile, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 
(since she and her husband, Raymond Parks, had lost 



their jobs for not showing up for work, the charge 
stung even more). Parks appealed her case to the Mont- 
gomery Circuit Court. On February 1, 1956, the MIP 
filed a suit in U.S. District Court on behalf of all Mont- 
gomery bus riders. On June 2, 1956, the Court 
declared in its favor: Montgomery bus segregation was 
declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of 
Alabama upheld the lower court's decision and on 
December 20, 1956, the order was served to Mont- 
gomery city officials to integrate the bus system. After 
381 days of walking to work, Montgomery blacks 
could now board the bus from any entrance and sit 
wherever they pleased. The success of the bus boycott 
sparked similar acts of civil disobedience throughout 
the south, including a sit-in at a Greensboro, North 
Carolina, Woolworth's Department Store, where four 
blacks demanded to be seated at an all-white lunch 
counter. The South would never be the same. 

Ending segregation, however, did not solve the 
problems faced by African Americans. Rosa and 
Raymond Parks could not find employment any- 
where in Montgomery, so they moved to Detroit. In 
1965, Rosa Parks became a staff assistant to U.S. 
Representative John Conyers; she retired in 1988. 
She is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, 
including the Eleanor ROOSEVELT Women of 
Courage Award. In 1990, she celebrated her 77th 
birthday in Washington, D.C., with 3,000 African- 
American leaders. "Pray and work for the freedom of 
Nelson Mandela [husband of Winnie MADIKEZELA- 
MANDELA]," she told the crowd, "and all of our sis- 
ters and brothers in South Africa." In 1999, Rosa 
Parks was awarded the prestigious Congressional 
Gold Medal of Honor. The following year, the Rosa 
Parks Library and Museum opened at Troy State 
University in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Further Reading 

Giddings, Paula. When and Where I Enter. New York: Mor- 
row, 1984. 

Parks, Rosa. Rosa Parks: My Story. New York: Dial Press, 
1992. 

Robinson, Jo Ann. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 
Woman Who Started It. Knoxville: University of Ten- 
nessee Press, 1987. 



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POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



A TRUTH, SOJOURNER (Isabella Baumfree 
Van Wage ner) 

(1797-1883) American political 
and social activist 

Sojourner Truth, an illiterate former slave, lectured 
throughout New England and the Midwest for 
women's rights and abolitionism. Her lack of formal 
education did not deter her from lecturing, dictating 
her autobiography, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, 
and working for a government bureaucracy designed to 
aid emancipated slaves after the Civil War (1861-65). 

Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree, the 
daughter of slaves James and Elizabeth Baumfree, in 
Hurley, Ulster County, New York. She had a number 
of different owners during her childhood; the John 
Dumont family of Esopus, New York, owned her for 
the longest period (17 years). When Isabella was 16 
or so she married another slave named Thomas, who 
was also owned by Dumont. The marriage was in 
name only: slaves' marriages were not considered 
legal. As a legal contract, marriage represented the 
transference of property from the wife to the hus- 
band; since slaves could not own property — they 
were property — slaves' marriages represented an 
agreed upon union between two people to share a 
household, which often included raising children. As 
Isabella soon found out, however, slave owners did 
not acknowledge or respect their slaves' desire to raise 
their children themselves. 

Evidence seems to suggest that the union between 
Thomas and Isabella was not a happy one. In 1 826, 
Isabella left the Dumont family of her own accord to 
work nearby on the farm of Isaac Van Wagener. 
Isabella and her husband had five children, including a 
son, Peter, whom John Dumont sold to one of his in- 
laws, a Dr. Gedney. Gedney took Peter to his brother 
Solomon Gedney, who then resold Peter to his 
brother-in-law, an Alabama planter named Fowler. 
New York state law prohibited the sale of slaves born in 
New York to owners residing in other states. However, 
the law was frequently contravened. However, New 
York was about to declare slavery illegal, so many New 
York slave owners were determined to obtain cash for 
what was considered to be their property. 



When New York did finally prohibit slavery in 
1827, Isabella and her husband separated perma- 
nently, and Isabella remained briefly with the Van 
Wagener family. Determined to get her son back 
from his current Alabama owner, she filed a lawsuit 
against John Dumont for violating state law. She 
sought and received money from the Ulster County 
Quakers, especially from two Dutch Quaker lawyers 
for whom she worked as a domestic. She won the suit 
a year after proceedings began. This would be the 
first of three lawsuits that the illiterate female ex-slave 
would win during her life. 

In 1828, Isabella Baumfree moved to New York 
City, where she joined the Methodist Church and 
became a born-again Christian. She changed her 
name to Sojourner Truth and explored a number of 
different unorthodox Christian organizations, 
including the Methodist Perfectionists, a group of 
missionaries to prostitutes at the Magdalene Asylum 
in New York, and the Sing-Sing Kingdom (or com- 
mune) of the prophet Matthew Roberts. These 
organizations had only included white members 
before Sojourner Truth joined. Unfortunately, coexis- 
tence was rocky at best. After another member of the 
commune accused her of attempted poisoning, 
Sojourner Truth won her second lawsuit, suing for 
libel and clearing her name. 

Much of the religious fervor experienced by Truth 
also ignited other Americans during the Second 
Great Awakening (1790s-1840). Sparked by the shift 
from farming to an industrial economy, and intensi- 
fied by the financial Panic of 1837, the Second Great 
Awakening beckoned Christians to remember their 
spiritual lives in the midst of the temporal pleasures 
of making money and consuming material goods. 
Among the most enthusiastic revivalists was William 
Miller (1782-1849), founder of the Adventist 
Churches. Miller eagerly looked forward to the time 
when Christ would reappear in his midst and destroy 
nonbelievers. Called millenarians, preachers such as 
Miller predicted the exact date of Christ's return. 
When March 21, 1843, came and went without an 
apocalypse, Miller lost much of his power. Truth trav- 
eled among various Millerite camps during these 
years, joining in the activities of the tent revivals. 



198 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



After 1844, Truth settled for a time in the 
Northampton Association Utopian community in what 
is now Florence, Massachusetts. Utopian communities 
were another outgrowth of economic displacement 
during the 19th century. The Northampton Associa- 
tion was founded by George Benson, brother-in-law of 
William Lloyd Garrison (1805-79), the famous aboli- 
tionist leader. Truth began attending abolitionist meet- 
ings, becoming acquainted with social activists like 
Garrison and Frederick Douglass (1817-95). In 1846, 
Truth dictated her autobiography, The Narrative of 
Sojourner Truth, to Olive Gilbert. The book was pub- 
lished in Boston in 1850. With the royalties she earned 
from the book, she purchased her first house. 

Truth's appearance at abolitionist meetings 
sparked debate and controversy, particularly since, 
at the time, it was considered improper for women 
to speak in public. Once, at a meeting where Fred- 
erick Douglass suggested that perhaps the aboli- 
tionists' practice of waiting patiently for change 
should be replaced by violent means of overthrow- 
ing slavery, Truth rose from her chair and asked, 
"Frederick, is God dead?" Though her question was 
rhetorical, Truth's question was meant to shame 
those who would even consider anything other 
than peaceful means of change into realizing that 
for Christians to wield a sword, even for a worthy 
cause, would be hypocritical. In 1851, Truth 
addressed a crowd of Ohio feminists in Akron, in 
which she demanded that poor and working 
women be included in the women's emancipation 
movement. She gained fame for uttering another 
rhetorical phrase at the meeting, "And ain't I a 
woman?" but historian Nell Irvin Painter attributes 
the phrase to Truth's biographer, Frances Dana 
Gage (1808-84). 

In 1856, Truth sold her house in Massachusetts 
and moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, to be closer 
to her daughters. When the Civil War ended in 
1865, Truth relocated briefly in Washington, D.C., 
where she worked with the Freedman's Relief Asso- 
ciation, helping newly freed slaves find a place to 
live, food to eat, and the means to make a living. 
She tried, unsuccessfully, to get the government to 
give land in the unsettled West to ex-slaves. During 




Sojourner Truth, enslaved in New York, 

became one of the 19th century's most famous 

abolitionists and reformers. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



her stay in Washington, D.C., she won her third 
lawsuit against the city for an injury she received 
while riding a streetcar. 

In 1867, she built a house big enough for her 
two daughters and their families, becoming finan- 
cially one of the most remarkable African-American 
women of her time. Her autobiography went into a 
second edition, with a preface written by the author 
and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-86). 
Appalled by the continuing poverty experienced by 
the nation's African-American population, Truth 
advocated black emigration to the western states. 
She died in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 
26, 1883. 



199 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



Further Reading 

Claflin, Edward. Sojourner Truth and the Struggle for Free- 
dom. New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1987. 
Young Adult. 

Mabee, Carleton. Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend. 
New York: New York University Press, 1993. 

Painter, Nell Irvin. Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol. New 
York: W. W. Norton, 1996. 

Truth, Sojourner. Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern 
Slave, Emancipated from Bodily Servitude by the State of 
New York in 1828. Chapel Hill: University of North 
Carolina Press, 2000. 



A XIANG JINGYU (Hsiang Ching-yu) 

(1895-1928) Chinese political activist 
and educator 

The legendary Chinese female warrior Mulan, whose 
story appeared on screen in an animated Walt Disney 
movie called Mulan in 1998, inspired Xiang Jingyu 
to organize the women's rights movement in China. 
When she was 16, Xiang and six of her girlfriends 
solemnized their ambitions by taking a vow: "We 
seven sisters are of the same will," they chanted, "to 
boost women's morale, to study hard, to fight for 
equality between men and women, and to save China 
by popularizing education." Early in her life, Xiang 
thought that educating women would bring universal 
human rights to China. Later, however, she regarded 
communism as the key to altering social ills. Xiang 
followed through on her girlhood vow, but her life 
was cut short when Chinese Nationalist authorities 
executed her at the age of 33. 

The women's rights campaign in China in the 
early 20th century differed from similar movements 
in the West, as Xiang pointed out. In China, women 
agitated for rights in a nation that had no universal 
human or civil rights; therefore, women activists were 
not struggling to persuade men to grant them rights, 
as they were in countries such as the United States. 
Instead, Chinese women hoped that women activists 
would imbue all Chinese people with a greater sense 
of human dignity and worth. Xiang's primary contri- 
bution to women's rights in China was to open the 
movement — primarily confined to upper-class Chris- 



tian women — to peasant and working women. By 
extending the women's rights movement to all 
women, Xiang hoped that the notion of human 
rights would sweep across all of China. 

In the late 19th century, China faced an identity 
crisis as Western nations aggressively sought to elimi- 
nate trade barriers between China and other coun- 
tries. The Republic of China had been established in 
1912 as the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi (1906-67), 
abdicated the throne. However, Chinese traditional- 
ists resisted absorption in Western, modern cultures 
that often included human rights provisions in their 
constitutions — though few had extended these rights 
to women. Xiang's family ran a business and became 
intrigued with Western ideas: her four brothers left 
China to study in Japan, and they influenced Xiang's 
education. Xiang's inspiration came from Chinese 
and Western sources, including the legendary female 
warrior Mulan and French writer and political figure 
Jeanne-Marie Roland (1754-93). Mulan and Roland 
chose their own life's course, independently from a 
father or husband. Such women, however, were a rar- 
ity in China in those days, as elsewhere in the world. 

Xiang lived in Xupu, the city of her birth, 800 
miles from the Hunan provincial capital of Chang- 
sha. She attended traditional schools in Xupu, but 
once her brother introduced her to the Western liter- 
ature he had studied in Japan, Xiang made plans to 
institute more progressive education for women. She 
attended Hunan Provincial Normal School, where 
she organized student groups opposed to the Chinese 
practice of foot-binding (see also QIU JIN) and spoke 
out against Chinese President Yuan Shih-kai's 
(1859-1916) toleration of Japanese demands: the 
Japanese government had presented China on Janu- 
ary 18, 1915 with a set of "21 Demands" for 
expanding its rights in China. In 1919, Xiang joined 
the May Fourth Movement, in which 3,000 students 
marched in Beijing to protest the decision of the Paris 
Peace Conference to award the former concessions of 
Germany in Shantung province to Japan. 

After graduation, Xiang returned to Xupu to start 
a coeducational primary school. She retained contact 
with one of her schoolmates whose brother and his 
friend Mao Zedong (1893-1976) founded the New 



200 



POLITICAL ACTIVISTS 



People's Study Society in Changsha. When the group 
organized a work-study program in France, Xiang left 
her teaching post and eagerly joined the students. 

On the ship sailing to France, Xiang met Cai 
Hesun, a student leader from Hunan province and 
later one of the founders of the Chinese Communist 
Party (CCP). In a town near Paris, Xiang and Cai 
worked in a factory, learned French, and read Marxist 
literature. The couple married in 1921 (though they 
had both taken a vow of celibacy earlier in their 
lives). During her time abroad, Xiang gradually 
became convinced that merely educating Chinese 
women would not be sufficient to effect real change 
in Chinese society. Instead, fundamental change in 
women's lives would only take place by tearing down 
Chinese traditions, she concluded. 

Xiang and her husband returned to China in 
1922 to begin working for the CCP, which had 
been founded in the previous year in Shanghai. 
Xiang and Cai were elected to the CCP's Central 
Committee, and Xiang presided over the Women's 
Department (she was the first female member of 
the CCP). Significantly, Xiang devoted her time 
and attention to organizing the women workers of 
Shanghai. Never entirely dropping her earlier 
emphasis on education, she spent many hours visit- 
ing working women in their homes and organizing 
formal study groups with them at night. In 1924, 



she participated in the strikes in the Shanghai silk 
mills and Nanyang (a city in Hunan province) 
tobacco plants. 

In 1925, Xiang and Cai traveled to Moscow to 
attend the Sixth Plenum of the Comintern (commu- 
nist international) Executive Committee. When 
Xiang returned two years later, the CCP dispatched 
her to Wuhan, the largest city in Hunan province, 
where she worked as a propagandist for the Wuhan 
Federation of Trade Unions and editor of a CCP 
journal. However, the project was short-lived. The 
cooperation that had existed between the National- 
ists and Communists collapsed in 1927, and Chiang 
Kai-shek (1887-1975), leader of the Nationalists, 
began gaining more power in China, forcing the 
minority CCP underground. Xiang continued her 
work despite the dangerous circumstances, and she 
was arrested and executed in May 1928. 

Further Reading 

Biographical Dictionary of Republican China. Howard L. 
Boorman, ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 
1979. 

Encyclopedia of World Biography, volume 17. Detroit: Gale 
Research, 1999. 

Klein, Donald W. Biographic Dictionary of Chinese Com- 
munism, 1921—1965- Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Uni- 
versity Press, 1971. 



201 



8 



Religious Leaders 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



A AISHAH (Aisha, Aishah Bint Abi Bakr) 

(c. 613-678) Arab Islamic religious figure 

Female sexuality, and men's understanding and use of 
it, has had grave consequences in the lives of impor- 
tant men and women throughout history. To the list 
of powerful figures such as MATA HARI and CLEOPA- 
TRA can be added Aishah, third and favorite wife of 
the prophet Mohammed (c. 570-632), founder of 
Islam. Men's perception of Aishah as vulnerable and 
her sexuality uncontrollable led to an important 
change in the Muslim religion and law during its 
infancy in the seventh century. After the death of 
Mohammed, Aishah became known as the Mother of 
the Believers and the dispenser of hadith ("tradi- 
tions"), or the orally transmitted words and deeds of 
Mohammed not contained in the Muslim holy book, 
the Qur'an. Aishah also played a political role in 
determining her husband's successors after his death. 

Aishah was born in Mecca to Abu Bakr (c. 
573-634), the first Islamic caliph, or religious and 
secular leader of the Umma, or Islamic community, 
and Mumm Ruman Bint Umair. In 622, when 
Aishah was about eight years old, Mohammed and his 
followers migrated from Mecca to Medina to escape 
persecution from aristocratic merchants in Mecca (the 
migration became known as the hijra and is the start- 
ing point of the Islamic calendar). Two years prior to 
the hijra, Aishah's father had promised to marry 
Aishah to Jubair Mutam; but when Mohammed's first 
wife, the wealthy Khadijah (555-620), died, Abu 
Bakr agreed to wed his young daughter to the 
prophet. The marriage clearly had a political purpose, 
as such a union would solidify the friendship between 
Mohammed and one of his earliest supporters. How- 
ever, Muslim tradition holds that the marriage 
brought joy to both partners, despite the four-decade 
age difference. Aishah allegedly carried her toys to 
court with her, and she enticed her husband to join 
her in play. Records show that the marriage was con- 
summated when Aishah turned 14 or 15. 

In 628, when the young wife was in her 1 5th year, 
she accompanied the prophet in his military cam- 
paign against another tribe, the Banu al-Mustaliq. 
She traveled atop a camel, secluded in a litter. When 



the caravan stopped for ritual ablutions, Aishah 
emerged and performed hers away from the others. 
When she returned to her litter, she realized that she 
had forgotten her shell necklace, and she raced back 
to fetch it, closing the curtains of the litter behind 
her. In the meantime, unaware of his wife's absence, 
Mohammed gave the signal for departure. When 
Aishah returned with her jewelry, she found the trav- 
elers gone. Eventually, the caravan's rear guard, 
Safwan ibn al-Muattal, discovered her, and the travel- 
ers caught up with the others. As they approached 
the waiting caravan, sexual impropriety between the 
two was immediately suggested, and Mohammed's 
cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abu Talib (c. 
600-661), who later became the founder of the Shi'a 
sect of Islam, urged Mohammed to divorce Aishah 
(Aishah would seek revenge against Ali later). Before 
making any decisions, however, Mohammed experi- 
enced a revelation, recorded in the Qur'an, that exon- 
erated his wife. He then proclaimed the legal 
boundaries for any subsequent charge of adultery 
against a Muslim: those accusers unable to produce at 
least four witnesses confirming the accusation would 
themselves be punished with a public flogging. 

When Mohammed died in 632, his wife was left, 
at the age of 18, a childless widow. By law, as the 
widow of Mohammed, she could not remarry. As the 
wife of Islam's founder and daughter of Abu Bakr, 
Mohammed's successor and first caliph, her prestige 
among the Muslim hierarchy remained undimin- 
ished. She used her prominence to foment opposi- 
tion to the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan (died 
656). Led by Egyptian Mohammed ibn Abu Bakr, a 
group forced their way into Uthman's quarters and 
murdered him in 656. Aishah wisely fled Medina 
under the pretext of making a pilgrimage to Mecca. 
When Aishah's enemy Ali was elected to succeed 
Uthman, she joined his rivals Talha and al-Zubair's 
army and started for Basra, in present-day Iraq. 

According to Nabia Abbott, men and women 
came from faraway places to seek Aishah's wisdom 
and knowledge. She is regarded as the most honor- 
able woman in Islam, second only to the prophet's 
first wife, Khadijah. Aishah is one of four persons 
(the others are Abu Hurayrah, Abdullah ibn Umar, 



204 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



and Anas ibn Malik) who transmitted more than 
2,000 hadiths of Mohammed. 

Further Reading 

Abbott, Nabia. Aishah: The Beloved of Mohammed. 

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942. 
Muir, Sir William. The Life of Mohammad From Original 

Sources. Edinburgh: J. Grant, 1923. 
Shorter Dictionary of Islam. H. A. R Gibb and J. H. Kramers, 

eds. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1953. 



A AYLWARD, GLADYS 

(1902—1970) British/Chinese missionary 

"Well, Miss Aylward," remarked Gladys Aylward's 
preacher as he shook her hand one Sunday morning 
after church, "God is wanting you." Aylward, a par- 
lor maid, began pondering his words as she went 
about her business of cleaning up after parties in 
London's well-to-do households. When she spoke to 
a neighboring minister's wife about her restless sense 
of the meaninglessness of her life, her friend 
declared, "My dear, the Lord's caught you!" Aylward 
spent the next 17 years preaching the Gospel in 
China. Her life became the subject of a BBC radio 
broadcast, a book, and a film, all in celebration of 
her experiences as a missionary. 

Alyward's journey to China differed from routes 
taken by most missionaries, such as Mary SLESSOR. 
She had been accepted for missionary training by the 
Protestant nondenominational China Inland Mis- 
sion, founded in 1865, but she soon flunked her 
coursework. Still intent on becoming a missionary, 
however, she redoubled her efforts and earned 
enough money to make the trip on her own, and join 
a Scottish missionary, Jeannie Lawson, who was plan- 
ning a return trip to China herself. 

Aylward was born on February 24, 1902, in 
Edmonton, in Middlesex, England, the eldest of 
three children of Thomas John Aylward and Rosina 
Florence Whiskin, the daughter of a boot maker. Ayl- 
ward had only an elementary education before going 
to work as a store clerk, a nanny, and finally a parlor 
maid. Her father had served as a vicar's warden at St. 
Aldhelm's Church in Edmonton and had joined a 



Gospel mission; both parents believed in "active 
Christianity." In 1932, after making contact with 
Jeannie Lawson, Aylward set sail for the east from 
Liverpool, carrying all her worldly goods: a bedroll, a 
kettle and saucepan, canned food, nine pence in cash, 
and a small book of travelers' checks. Her parting 
words to her parents: "Never get me out [of China] 
or pay ransom for me. God is sufficient." 

After a lengthy train trip on the Trans-Siberian 
Railway, Aylward found Jeannie Lawson in 
Yangzheng, in the northern Chinese province of 
Shanxi. There, the two British women established a 
travelers' inn for mule drivers, providing food, shel- 
ter, and free lessons on the Gospel. When Jeannie 
Lawson died a year later, Aylward continued as pro- 
prietor of the inn, known as the Inn of the Sixth 
Happiness, on her own. Aylward, whose religion 
knew no denomination, encouraged her customers to 
find and join the nearest Christian missionary wher- 
ever their journeys took them. "I work kind of along- 
side everyone," Aylward noted. "We're all after one 
thing — souls for Jesus Christ. I don't care if they're 
sprinkled on or immersed [during baptism]." Ayl- 
ward quickly learned conversational Mandarin and 
became friends with the local population. Officials in 
Yangzheng appointed her to be the local foot inspec- 
tor, to enforce new laws prohibiting the Chinese cus- 
tom of binding and crippling the feet of young girls 
(see also QIU IIN) . Aylward signed citizenship papers 
in 1936 and became a Chinese citizen. 

In 1 937, while Chinese communists and national- 
ists were fighting one another for ascendancy, Japan 
invaded China, and by 1938, Japan's military con- 
trolled most of eastern China. Shanxi province, too, 
succumbed to Japan's superior forces. In 1940, Ayl- 
ward shepherded 1 00 children out of the occupied 
territory and marched with them across the Yellow 
River to safety. At Fufeng, Aylward collapsed from 
exhaustion, and she was recuperating when word 
reached her that the China Inland Mission, the 
organization that had refused to sponsor her years 
before, offered to buy her a round-trip ticket to Lon- 
don where she could continue to mend. 

In London, Aylward's mother alerted Hugh 
Redwood, a celebrated religious journalist, to her 



205 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



daughter's remarkable story. Alan Burgess, a writer 
for the British Broadcast Company, contacted Ayl- 
ward and arranged a radio interview. A biography 
emerged, Small Woman by Alan Burgess, and then a 
film called Inn of the Sixth Happiness in 1959. Ayl- 
ward unsuccessfully tried to stop production of the 
movie due to a fictionalized love interest in the 
script (the film greatly exaggerated her infatuation 
with a Chinese colonel), and because a divorced 
woman, Ingrid Bergman, was portraying her. 

Aylward spent the last 12 years of her life in Tai- 
wan (the home of Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese 
nationalists after the communist revolution of 
1949). Still practicing active Christianity, she oper- 
ated an orphanage in Taipei until her death on Jan- 
uary 3, 1970. 

Further Reading 

Burgess, Alan. The Small Woman. New York: Dutton, 

1957. 
Swift, Catherine. Gladys Aylward. Minneapolis, Minn.: 

Bethany House, 1989. 
Wellman, Sam. Gladys Aylward: Missionary in China. 

Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour, 1998. 



A BRIGID, ST. (St. Bridget, St. Bride, 
St. Brighid) 

(453-523) Irish abbess and Christian saint 

Legend and history swirl around the life of St. Brigid, 
abbess of the monastery at Kildare, the first convent 
and the only double monastery — where communities 
of nuns and monks worship in the same church — in 
Ireland. Christianity arrived in Ireland at about the 
same time as Brigid did, and the Irish linked Christian 
Brigid with their pagan past, indicating the syncretic 
nature of early Christianity. St. Brigid is one of Ire- 
land's three saints, the other two being St. Patrick 
(389-461), the patron saint of Ireland and friend to 
Brigid, and St. Columba (died 519). 

Christianity was probably known in Ireland 
before the missionary activities of St. Patrick in the 
late fifth century. The early Christian Church in Ire- 
land was exclusively monastic: no parochial or dioce- 



san divisions or church government existed. The 
early Irish Church operated completely independ- 
ently of the Roman Catholic Church, developing its 
own liturgy and calendar. Obedience to Rome did 
not occur until the 12th century, when the Irish 
Church discarded its services and adopted those of 
the Catholic Church. 

St. Brigid was born at Faugher near Dundalk, 
County Louth, Ireland. Sources from the Catholic 
Church and Irish folktales differ on her parentage, but 
most agree that Brigid's father, Dubhthach, was the 
Irish chieftain of Leinster and her mother, Brotsech, 
his concubine and slave. Irish stories tell of Brotsech's 
jealousy and her eventual sale to a sorcerer, who 
brought Brotsech to Faugher, where she gave birth to 
Brigid. One day, the story goes on, Brotsech left her 
house while her daughter was still inside, bundled up 
in her bed. Neighbors suddenly noticed a huge blaze 
around the house, with flames leaping off the roof all 
the way to the heavens. But when they approached the 
house to save Brigid, the fire miraculously died, and 
the baby girl cooed and giggled as if nothing had hap- 
pened. References to fire occur frequently in the lore of 
St. Brigid, leading scholars to conclude that Brigid — 
her name, "breo-shigit," means fiery arrow — may have 
absorbed earlier pagan myths about an Irish fire god- 
dess. As an adult, St. Brigid supposedly kept a perpet- 
ual, ash-less fire ablaze in her fireplace at Kildare 
tended by nuns and surrounded by a border beyond 
which no male could enter. 

Sometime during the course of her childhood, 
Brigid and her mother returned to the court of Lein- 
ster. However, because Brigid habitually dealt out 
Dubhthach's riches to the poor, he sold the pair 
again, this time to the king of Leinster. The king set 
Brigid free, saying, "It is not meet that we should 
judge her, for she has greater merit before God than 
we. Instead show her to the Bishop, that she may fol- 
low God and wear the veil." Whereupon Dubhthach 
attempted to marry Brigid off to a wealthy suitor, but 
the girl refused, dedicating her life and her virginity 
to the Lord. 

Brigid donned the veil and nun's habit at St. 
Macaille at Croghan; St. Mel of Armagh may have 
conferred abbatial authority upon her. Around the 



206 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



year 470, she founded the double monastery at Kil- 
dare, which soon developed into a center of learning 
and spirituality. St. Brigid started a school of art at the 
monastery, where nuns produced illuminated manu- 
scripts of the Gospels. The Book of Kildare, probably 
written and illustrated in the ninth century and 
praised as Ireland's finest Christian manuscript, was 
unfortunately lost during the 16th-century Protestant 
Reformation. Brigid chose Bishop Condlaed (also 
spelled Conleth) to govern the community with her. 

A ninth-century monk named Cogitosus 
(835-885) described the church as it looked in his 
day. A great wall bisected the building, separating the 
men's and women's sections of the church. The tombs 
of St. Brigid and Bishop Condlaed, highly decorated 
with crowns of silver, gold, and gemstones, were 
placed on either side of the altar. To her countrymen, 
St. Brigid was "the Mary of the Gaels," a selfless 
woman who devoted her life to helping others. St. 
Broccan Cloen, who is thought to have died in 650, 
wrote the following poem praising St. Brigid: 

Saint Brigid was not given to sleep, 
Nor was she intermittent about God's love; 
Not merely that she did not buy, 
She did not seek for the wealth of this 

world below; 
The most holy one. 



Further Reading 

Knowles, Joseph A. St. Brigid, the Patroness of Ireland. 

Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1907. 
MacDonald, Iain. Saint Bride. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 

1992. 
O'Cathain, Seamus. The Festival of Brigit: Celtic Goddess 

and Holy Woman. Dublin: DBA Publications, 1995. 



A CHOWHASOON 

(1934— ) Korean Methodist minister 

Cho Wha Soon's ministry is inextricably intertwined 
with her concern for social justice. She worked for the 
Urban Industrial Mission (UIA) inaugurated by the 
Korean Christian Church after the Korean War 



(1950-53). The UIA sent ministers into factories to 
work alongside female wage earners, in order to help 
women workers form unions to fight for more 
humane conditions and equitable pay. Cho Wha Soon 
wrote about her experiences in Let the Weak Be Strong: 
A Woman's Struggle for Justice, published in 1990. 

Cho Wha Soon developed a liberation theology 
that arose out of her wartime experiences. Liberation 
theology, a theory originating among Latin American 
theologians, interprets liberation from social, politi- 
cal, and economic oppression as a precursor to salva- 
tion from sin. It focuses on the liberating aspects of 
Christ's own life: providing for the poor, feeding the 
hungry, and welcoming outcasts into the community. 
Only when Christians actually share in the lives of 
the poor will their Christian message take effect, 
according to liberation theologians, and only then 
will society be transformed. The Korean War set the 
stage for Cho's experiences among Korea's needy and 
for the ministry she developed afterward. 

The Korean War had roots in the early part of the 
20th century when Japan annexed Korea in 1910. 
Coincidental to Japan's defeat in World War II 
(1939-45), the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics) entered Korea from the north, and the 
United States entered from the south to accept the 
surrender of Japanese troops. The Korean peninsula, 
which juts out into the Sea of Japan, was divided at 
the 38th parallel into two administrative zones, north 
and south. Nationwide elections were attempted to 
reunite the two halves, but these failed. A pro- 
Western government was instituted in the south, with 
Syngman Rhee (1875-1965) as president, while in 
the north Premier Kim Il-sung established the Demo- 
cratic People's Republic of Korea. In 1950, North 
Korean troops invaded South Korea, triggering a 
three-year war. The United Nations, led by the United 
States, defended South Korea, while China defended 
North Korea. The war ended after three years of 
destruction and loss of life, in a status quo antebellum 
(conditions the same as before the war). The line 
dividing the two halves remains in place even today. 

President Rhee held elections in 1960, but when 
demonstrators charged that the election had been 
rigged, he fled to Hawaii, where he died in 1965. 



207 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



Elections were held again in 1961, but General Park 
Chung Hee (1917-79) seized control of the govern- 
ment. He was assassinated in 1979 by the head of the 
South Korean intelligence agency. Choi Kyu Ha suc- 
ceeded Park, but a military coup followed, naming 
Chun Doo Hwan (1931- ) president in 1980. 
Democratic uprisings occurred throughout the 
1980s, calling for the elimination of the military 
presence in Korean politics. In 1987, President Chun 
agreed to implement a new, voter-approved constitu- 
tion. The constitution established direct presidential 
elections and protection of basic human rights. 
Finally, in 1993, Kim Young Sam (1927- ) became 
the first civilian to hold the office of president in 
Korea in more than 30 years. 

Cho Wha Soon was born in Inchon, in present-day 
South Korea, in 1934. Her father was a well-educated 
man who participated in Koreas move toward inde- 
pendence from Japan. When the movement failed in 
1919, Cho's father was imprisoned. He escaped to 
Inchon, where he started a family with Cho's mother. 
As a teenager, Cho joined the Methodist church and a 
Methodist youth group that studied discrimination 
against rural workers in Korea. 

In choosing to become a Methodist Christian, Cho 
became a member of a minority religion in Korea. 
Most South Koreans follow at least some aspects of 
Confucianism, a philosophy requiring religious adher- 
ence to filial piety, ancestor worship, and ritual cere- 
monies. Shamanism, a religion based on a belief in the 
presence of spirits and their interactions with humans, 
is also practiced. Buddhism and Christianity — mostly 
Protestant — are making inroads in South Korea. 

During the Korean War, 16-year-old Cho joined a 
choral group that performed for soldiers stationed in 
Pusan, a city in South Korea. During the choirs stay at 
the base, the war worsened, and its members could not 
safely leave. Nearly overnight, Cho became a war 
refugee, with nowhere to stay and no money. The girls 
were taken to an army hospital to tend wounded sol- 
diers. Initially, Cho complained bitterly at the tasks she 
was made to perform, and at the disrespect with which 
the soldiers treated her. Later, however, she came to 
believe that God had chosen her to help the soldiers 
heal because she had special powers to do so. 



After the war, Cho returned to Inchon where her 
parents had lost much of their material lives. Too 
poor to send their daughter to high school, they 
decided to sell their last remaining luxury, a piano, to 
pay for Cho's schooling so that she could become a 
primary school teacher. Later, in 1960, she entered 
the Methodist seminary. Upon graduation, she was 
sent to the island of Dokjokdo to minister a church 
there. The island's only inhabitants were refugee boat 
people from the aftermath of the war. The island had 
no running water, and Cho's church had long since 
been abandoned; there were no congregants. Most of 
the villagers were extremely suspicious of Christian- 
ity, believing that if anyone became a Christian, the 
entire village would be destroyed. Clearly, Cho had 
her work cut out for her. For years, she recounts, she 
had only one man and his mother coming to her 
church services. She opened the church doors on 
other days to young children, offering them songs, 
dances, and plays. 

In 1966, Cho joined the Urban Industrial Mission. 
She was sent to Hwasudong, near Inchon, to work at 
the Dong II Textile Company. Here, she experienced 
firsthand the working conditions that oppressed 
Korean women. Crudeness and verbal abuse toward 
women were rampant at the factory. Many of the 
young women workers were sending their pay home to 
poor families; in some cases, the money they made was 
used to send their brothers to school. 

Cho's mission at the textile factory was to encour- 
age democratic union activity. General Park Chung 
Hee's government discouraged such activity. During 
Cho's tenure, two unions emerged: one union allied 
with the Park regime and included mostly male 
members. The other union was a democratic union 
whose membership was almost all female, headed by 
elected chairpersons. By 1975, Park was sending 
secret police to threaten workers who protested con- 
ditions. In 1978, tensions came to a head when 
women started a sit-in at the factory to protest the 
Park regime's intimidating methods. On Korea's 
Labor Day, March 10, the women used a televised 
Labor Day event to make their feelings known; they 
disrupted ceremonies and were promptly arrested. 
Cho was not among those at the event, but she had 



208 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



given speeches encouraging the women's activities, 
and she was placed under surveillance by the govern- 
ment. Later, she too was arrested when she addressed 
a local YWCA. "Our country," Cho had declared, "is 
world-famous for two things: one is dictatorship, and 
the other is torture." After a trial, she was sentenced 
to a year in prison. 

After her release, Cho began work on her autobio- 
graphical book, Let the Weak Be Strong. She summa- 
rizes her experiences: 

A thing that has caused me pain for twenty years 
was the unequal treatment of women. I also expe- 
rienced the agony of discrimination and alienation 
caused by sexism. Women are oppressed wherever 
we go — at home, at work, in society, and even 
before the law. The have-not class gets continually 
poorer and oppressed. Among these, the people 
suffering the most oppression and alienation are 
the women. . . . True human liberation can be 
accomplished only when the women's liberation 
movement is realized at the same time. 



Further Reading 

Cho Wha Soon. Let the Weak Be Strong: A Woman's Struggle 
for Justice. New York: Crossroad, 1990. 

Madigan, Shawn, ed. Mystics, Visionaries, and Prophets: A 
Historical Anthology of Women's Spiritual Writings. Min- 
neapolis: Fortress Press, 1998. 



A EDDY, MARY BAKER (Mary Baker 
Morse Eddy) 

(1821-1910) American religious leader 
and founder of Christian Science 

Against the backdrop of the religious revival period 
known as the Second Great Awakening (1790s-1840), 
Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Sci- 
entist (for more on the Second Great Awakening, see 
Sojourner TRUTH). Eddy created a religion based 
upon a new understanding of the relationship between 
religion, science, and health, derived from her own 
experiences with pain and suffering. Since the begin- 
nings of human history, theologians have pondered the 
mystery of why an all-powerful and loving God allows 




Mary Baker Eddy was the American founder 

of the Christian Science movement. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



human suffering, part of the human condition with 
which Eddy was all too familiar. Ultimately, she for- 
mulated her own response to the question. 

Born Mary Baker on July 16, 1821, in Bow, New 
Hampshire, to the farming couple Abigail Baker and 
Mark Baker, Eddy's childhood was punctuated with 
long bouts of poor health. She did not attend school 
but was educated by an older brother and, like many 
19th-century Americans, she studied the Bible 
intensely. Her father, like other Calvinists, believed in 
the teachings of John Calvin (1509-64) that only a 
select group of Christians will be saved from damna- 
tion. Eddy, however, formed her own understanding 
of the scripture. 

Eddy married George Washington Glover in 1843, 
but he died soon after. She returned to her parents' 
farm, where she gave birth to her only child, George 
Glover. Ten years later she met and married a traveling 
dentist, Daniel Patterson. His frequent absences, 
including a period as a prisoner in a Confederate 



209 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



camp during the Civil War (1861-65), resulted in the 
couple's permanent separation and divorce in 1873. 

At the age of 40, Mary Baker Eddy sought medical 
treatment from Dr. Phineas P. Quimby of Portland, 
Maine. Quimby, a hypnotist or "mesmerist," put Eddy 
into a trance, during which time she felt no pain. He 
continued to treat her until his death in 1866. Less 
than a year later, she slipped on ice and sustained a 
spinal injury. To alleviate her pain this time, she tried 
healing herself through reading portions of the Christ- 
ian Bible that dealt with Christ's power to heal the 
sick, especially Matthew 9: 1-8. She found that by con- 
centrating on these verses, she was able to reduce her 
pain, an experience that convinced her that — unlike 
Quimby's belief that the human mind could be trained 
to ignore pain — the healing touch was actually coming 
from God. What she believed to be God's act of rid- 
ding her body of pain led to Christian Science as a 
healing system and, ultimately, a church. 

By 1 870, Eddy was teaching her scientific healing in 
collaboration with practitioners who treated those in 
need. Christian Science followers believed Eddy's radi- 
cal statement about reality: that only the spirit is real, 
and that matter, including the human body, is ulti- 
mately an illusion. Eddy responded to the incongruity 
of a powerful, loving God allowing humans to suffer by 
postulating that, in fact, God did not create the earth 
nor what it contains (including suffering), even while 
she upheld the Calvinist belief that God was sovereign. 
In her mind, if God is good and is a spirit, then matter 
and evil must not be real. Since medical treatment 
involved using matter to treat the body, it was also not 
real and was rejected by Christian Scientists. The "sci- 
ence" in Christian Science is in the acceptance of this 
truth about human existence on the part of the sufferer. 
Eddy believed that all sin and suffering would disap- 
pear if humans would abandon their reliance on the 
physical senses and surrender to what she believed was 
the truth — that only the spiritual is real. Eddy's exis- 
tence from 1870 until the founding and chartering of 
the church in 1879 seemed, indeed, to be steeped in 
spirituality, for she lived in poverty, relying on the char- 
ity of her followers for room and board. In 1877, she 
married one of her students, Asa Gilbert Eddy, a sewing 
machine salesman. 



In 1875, a group of her students underwrote the 
publication of her book Science and Health: With Key 
to the Scriptures. She followed the success of her first 
book with several others, including Christian Healing 
(1880), The People's God (1880), and A Defense of 
Christian Science (1885); in 1908, she started pub- 
lishing The Christian Science Monitor, a highly 
regarded newspaper still in circulation today. 

The years from 1880 to 1890 were trying times 
for Eddy and other Christian Scientists. In 1881 she 
and her followers began the Massachusetts Meta- 
physical College, which abruptly folded in 1889. She 
then started and disbanded the National Christian 
Science Association in 1886 and 1889, respectively. 
Much of the turmoil of this period stemmed from 
acrimoniousness between Eddy and her adherents, 
and among the group as a whole. Edward J. Arens, 
for example, accused Eddy of borrowing Phineas 
Quimby's ideas without attribution; Eddy in turn 
brought suit against Arens for plagiarizing Science 
and Health. 

Eddy reorganized the church in 1892 and pub- 
lished The Manual of the Mother Church, a guide to 
the Christian Science organization, in 1895. The new 
organization allowed Eddy to retain her function as 
head of the main church, the First Church of Christ, 
Scientist in Boston, but it gave branch congregations 
more autonomy. The purpose of the reorganization 
was to cut down on internal disputes. Eddy remained 
a controversial figure, however. Legal entanglements 
once again plagued the church, when former member 
Josephine Woodbury filed a lawsuit against the 
church for defamation of character. 

Nevertheless, Eddy could claim 100,000 believ- 
ers by the time she died on December 3, 1910, in 
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Eddy holds a unique 
place in American religious history as the only 
woman to have started a religion based upon a new 
understanding of the relationship between the spir- 
itual and the profane. The Christian Science 
church now has branches in most parts of the 
world. Her use of the inclusive phrase "Mother- 
Father-God" influenced later religious thinkers, 
including Elizabeth Cady STANTON, writer of The 
Woman's Bible. 



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Further Reading 

Eddy, Mary Baker. Science and Health: With Key to the 
Scriptures, 1875. Boston: First Church of Christ, Scien- 
tist, 1994. 

Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery. New 
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. 

Silberger, Julius. Mary Baker Eddy, An Interpretive Biogra- 
phy of the Founder of Christian Science. Boston: Little, 
Brown, 1980. 



A FATIMA (Fatimah Bint Mohammed) 

(c. 605—633) Arab Islamic religious figure 

One of only four perfect women, according to her 
father, the prophet Mohammed (c. 570-632), Fatima's 
religious significance far outweighs the evidence histori- 
ans have to reconstruct her life during the formative 
years of the Muslim religion. Because Mohammed, the 
founder of Islam, left no male heirs when he died in 
632, only Fatima remained as the link to his posterity. 
Her religious importance, however, is also due to her 
marriage to the founder of Shiite Islam, Ali ibn Abu 
Talib (c. 600-661), cousin to Mohammed. 

Shi'a is the smaller of the two major branches of 
Islam. The Shiite sect began as a political faction whose 
members supported Ali's caliphate as the true heir of 
Mohammed. After Ali's opponents murdered him in 
661, his followers continued asserting that only mem- 
bers of Mohammed's family, or specifically descendants 
of Fatima, were qualified as rightful heirs to Mohammed. 
The more pragmatic Sunni majority accepted the lead- 
ership of any caliph, as long as he required rigorous 
attention to religious rituals and maintained the stabil- 
ity of the Muslim world. Ali's opponent Muawiya (died 
680) became the fifth caliph, while Fatima's son by 
Ali, Husayn (626-680), refused to acknowledge 
Muawiya's legitimacy. Thus, the division between the 
two branches of Islam became entrenched. 

Fatima was born to Mohammed and his first wife, 
Khadijah, in Mecca, and she was raised in a house- 
hold that included her father's cousin and her later 
husband, Ali. As a child, Fatima experienced the tri- 
als of her father's persecution in Mecca, and after the 
hijra, or Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina, 
Ali brought Fatima to Medina where she was 



reunited with her father. After the Battle of Badr 
(624), in which Mohammed and Ali battled the 
Quraysh enemy and won a victory that consolidated 
the power of the fledgling religious state, Ali married 
his cousin's daughter. The couple had two daughters, 
Zainab and Umm Kulthum, and three sons, Hasan, 
Husayn, and Muhain (who died in infancy). 

According to Muslim hadiths, or the orally trans- 
mitted and later recorded words and deeds of 
Mohammed, the marriage between Fatima and Ali 
was an unhappy one. The prophet frequently inter- 
vened in the discord that developed between the two, 
proving his love for his daughter by protecting her 
and acting as arbiter in the couple's disputes. It was 
Mohammed who prevented Ali from taking a second 
wife during his marriage to Fatima (he had several 
wives after her death). 

Little is known about Fatima's life between the 
hijra and Mohammed's death in 632. When the 
prophet died without a male heir, two men stepped 
forward to claim the crown of leadership of the Mus- 
lim world. Abu Bakr, who succeeded in becoming the 
first caliph, was Mohammed's chief adviser and the 
father of his third and favorite wife, AISHAH. Ali's 
claim was based upon his blood relation to the 
prophet. Fatima contested Abu Bakr's usurpation of 
Ali's claim. He raised her ire further when he rejected 
her claim to a portion of Mohammed's estate upon 
his death. However, Fatima's role in determining the 
next leader of Islam was short-lived, as she died 
within a year of Mohammed's death. Medina Mus- 
lims elected Ali caliph after the murder of the third 
caliph, Uthman (died 656). 

Fatima's hagiography is based upon Qur'anic verses 
that make oblique references to her (her name does not 
actually appear in the Muslim Holy Book). Shiite 
commentators on the Qur'an view references to the 
"people of the house" as including Mohammed, Ali, 
Fatima, and their sons Hasan and Husayn. Other Shi- 
ite interpreters have noted that Mohammed, the 
imams (people who lead prayers), and Fatima all 
embodied the spiritual attribute of infallibility. 

The cultish status of Fatima is explained by the 
hadiths, which declare her to be "queen of the women 
of paradise," a virgin, "mistress of the waters," and of 



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RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



salt. Most recently, scholarship by a western-educated 
Persian, Ali Shariati (1933-77) presents the prophets 
daughter as a symbol of Muslim feminism in his book 
Fatima Is Fatima. 

Fatima appears to have been aware of her own 
importance to the Shiite Muslims. Before her death, 
she left orders for her mourners to place a small box 
containing a document, written in green ink, that 
offered directions for the salvation of all Shiite Mus- 
lims at her grave. Green, the color of the Edenic gar- 
den to which Fatima hoped to ascend, became the 
symbol of Shiite Islam. 

Further Reading 

The Muslim Almanac: A Reference Work on the History, 
Faith, Culture, and Peoples of Islam. Azim A. Nanji, ed. 
Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1996. 

Netton, Ian Richard. A Popular Dictionary of Islam. 
Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press Interna- 
tional, 1992. 

Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam. H. A. R. Gibb and J. H. 
Kramers, eds. Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press, 
1953. 



A HADEWIJCH OF ANTWERP 
(Hadewych of Brabant) 

(mid- 13th century) Flemish 
religious! spiritual leader 

Little is known of the life of Hadewijch. Her extant 
works include 31 letters, 61 poems, and 14 visions, or 
prose in which Hadewijch describes spiritual images 
she experienced. Her works reflect the spiritual tradi- 
tion known as "love mysticism." Many scholars con- 
sider her visions to be among the greatest work of 
literature in the Dutch literary tradition. She wrote in 
the vernacular, middle-Dutch language. Hadewijch 
represented the Beguine movement, a religious com- 
munity of women founded in the 13th century. 

As many of her literary works deal with the lan- 
guage and traditions of chivalry and courtly love, it 
seems likely that Hadewijch came from an upper-class 
background. Her works reveal a well-educated mind, 
although we do not know how or where she may have 
been formally educated. She was familiar with Latin, 



French, the rules of rhetoric, numerology, Ptolemaic 
astronomy, music theory, the church history, and most 
canonical 12th-century writers. She may have 
founded, or become a leader of, a Beguine group. 

The Beguines were Christian women who led 
pious but non-monastic lives during the Middle Ages 
(c. 500-1500). Beguines promised to live celibate 
lives while living in Beguine communities called 
Beguinages (some of the women lived alone), but they 
were allowed to retain private property and were free 
to leave the community and marry. Married women 
could still participate in the community while they 
lived with their husbands. The Beguines wore simple 
clothing similar to a nun's habit. They sought chastity, 
evangelical poverty, and the contemplative life. 

Social and religious conditions help to explain the 
rise of the Beguines in the 13th century. Women 
were discriminated against economically and legally, 
and the Catholic Church began diverting its 
resources from monasteries to universities, which 
prohibited women during the 13th century. Pope 
Honorius III (1216-27) orally recognized the 
women as a community, but the Beguines came 
under increasing suspicion in the late 13th and 14th 
centuries. The Council of Vienne (1311—14) con- 
demned the Beguines as "an abominable sect" and 
tried to supress those living outside Beguinages. 

The daily routine of the Beguines' lives included 
attendance at Mass, prayers in honor of Mary and 
the passion of Christ, meditative reading and con- 
templation, communal penance, and monthly con- 
fession. Vigils and feast days were also observed. 
Groups of Beguine women who shared living quar- 
ters also provided refuge for women who were not 
members, but who were single women or widows in 
need of protection. For many within the established 
Christian church, the Beguines represented a chal- 
lenge to women's ecclesiastical place. Hadewijch's 
letters indicate that she acted as a spiritual adviser to 
younger Beguines. 

Scholars agree that Hadewijch was the most impor- 
tant exponent of love mysticism in the 13th century. 
Love mysticism appeared in the second half of the 12th 
century in present-day Belgium and was an exclusively 
feminine phenomenon. Love mystics used the term to 



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RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



describe a relationship with God, who, they believe, 
allows himself to be experienced as love by those who 
are open to such an experience. But this mystical love is 
not one quietly received; instead, ecstatic experiences 
accompany the person who has met God as her lover. 
At times, the mystic lover's experiences could be highly 
emotional and even violent, causing psychosomatic 
symptoms and visions. 

Events surrounding the church and the larger soci- 
ety in which it existed help explain love mysticism and 
a Beguine leader such as Hadewijch. Two key changes 
relating to the church occurred between the 12th and 
13th centuries. First, under the last pope of the 12th 
century, Innocent III (1198-1216), the church had 
reached its zenith of political and secular power. The 
Crusades — wars proclaimed by the pope for the sake of 
recovery of Christian property or in defense of Chris- 
tendom against its enemies, especially Muslims — had 
strengthened the church's sphere of influence in the 
Mediterranean and in the Middle East, but at an enor- 
mous cost of human life and destruction. Second, a 
movement known as Scholasticism secularized Christ- 
ian scholarship. Whereas during the early Middle Ages 
Christian thought had been exclusively generated in 
Christian monasteries, during the 13th century Christ- 
ian scholarship had become linked to universities, 
which had become secular institutions, although still 
heavily influenced by the church. Scholasticism created 
a division between urbane Christian scholars who 
based their religion upon reason, and the rural- 
dwelling, less well-educated Christian faithful. 

Ordinary Christian believers were longing for 
authentic spiritual experiences as signs of a living 
faith. New apostolic orders — the Dominicans and 
Franciscans — grew as Christians clung to a life of 
communal living, the renunciation of wealth, and the 
caring for the poor in spirit. Women, too, joined the 
call for an experiential religion. Women's place in the 
traditional church was extremely low; they were seen 
primarily as their husband's property. Canon law, for 
example, allowed wife beating if a woman did not 
obey her husband. Furthermore, it was thought that 
men were needed to channel the religious energies of 
women, lest they succumb to heresy or unruly behav- 
ior. Men could become monks, clerics, canons, or 



members of any number of other male communities 
sponsored by the church. A woman's only choice was 
the cloistered nunnery. The Beguines, then, offered 
women another option. 

The Beguines faced both admiration and opposi- 
tion within the church. The bishop of Liege, who 
helped organize the movement, saw the Beguines as 
the new mothers of the church. The Second Council 
of Lyons and the Council of Vienne, however, 
expressed opposition to the group; one bone of con- 
tention was their public readings of scripture in the 
vernacular — instead of in Latin, the language of the 
church, which uneducated people did not understand. 
Hadewijch herself experienced opposition both from 
within and from without her community. She left her 
group of Beguines at one point but continued to write 
letters to some of the members after her departure. 
Nothing is known of when and where she died. 

Hadewijch's poetry communicates her central belief 
that true and perfect love is only found by worshiping 
Christ; she often used bridal imagery to express this 
belief. Hadewijch contended that the mystic experi- 
ences three stages of mystic love; first, an awareness of 
the connection between Christ's love and herself; next 
the complete surrender to love; and finally a restored 
sense of balance between the earthly life and mystical 
love. Hadewijch's letters, poems, and visions express 
the centrality of mystical love in her life. 

Further Reading 

Hart, Mother Columbo. Hadewijch: The Complete Works. 
New York: Paulist Press, 1981. 

McGinn, Bernard. Meister Eckhart and the Beguine Mystics: 
Hadewijch of Brabant, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and 
Marguerite Porete. New York: Continuum, 1997. 

Milhaven, John Giles. Hadewijch and Her Sisters: Other 
Ways of Loving and Knowing. Albany, N.Y: State Uni- 
versity of New York Press, 1993. 



A HILDEGARDVON BINGEN (Hildegard 
of Bingen) 

(1098—1 179) German religious leader 

Hildegard von Bingen was probably the most impor- 
tant female religious leader of the 12th century. She 



213 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



was a Benedictine abbess and prophet who recorded 
her visions (for which she is best known) and wrote 
poetry, music, morality plays, and scientific treatises. 
Because Hildegard von Bingen left a wealth of manu- 
scripts, she is the female German writer from the 
medieval period (c. 500-1500) about whom we 
know the most. She wrote prologues to many of her 
works, in which she describes her activities; she kept 
extensive letter exchanges with others; and she wrote 
two Vitae, or autobiographical sketches (some of the 
material contained in the two Vitae were written by 
others). Hildegard is unusual in the amount of writ- 
ten material she composed, during a time when few 
women wrote at all. In addition to her religious 
tracts, she wrote a play about morality, The Play of the 
Virtues, and the music with which it was accompa- 
nied, as well as treatises about natural history and the 
medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees, and stones. 

Hildegard was born in Bermersheim-bei-Alzey, 
the 10th child of a noble family. In the custom of the 
time, her parents, Hildebert and Mechthild von 
Bermersheim, offered their daughter to the church 
when Hildegard was eight years old. 

The anchoress Jutta of Spanheim at the Benedic- 
tine monastery of Disibodenberg instructed Hilde- 
gard in the Christian faith and in monastic living (an 
anchoress is a kind of hermit who devotes herself to 
religious exercises and severe penance according to 
her own prescription). Jutta and her young charge 
held prayer services, fasted, performed manual labor, 
and studied biblical scriptures. 

Hildegard's visions began when she was a child, 
although she kept her experiences to herself until she 
reached adulthood. When she turned 42, she 
received a vision in which Jesus Christ directed her 
to write and preach about her visions. The idea filled 
her with fear. She had received only a rudimentary 
education from Jutta, and this left her with feelings 
of inadequacy. She learned to read Latin, the lan- 
guage of the church hierarchy, but never fully 
grasped its grammatical intricacies (secretaries 
recorded her visions for her). Her visions filled her 
with a variety of emotions, from terror to exultation, 
from humiliation to a sense of pride. She learned 
theology through her visions, rather than from a dis- 



ciplined study as most monks did (women were not 
allowed to study theology). 

A monk friend, Vollmar, convinced her to record 
her visions. She completed the Scivias (Know the Ways 
of the Lord) in 1152. She also designed — but probably 
did not paint — the illustrations accompanying the 
work. Two other friends, Archbishop Henry of Mainz 
and Bernard of Clairvaux, asked Pope Eugenius III 
(1 100?— 1 153) to review her work. With his approval, 
Hildegard's work became widely read and acclaimed. 

Her reputation as a prophet grew rapidly. So 
many women came to the monastery at Disiboden- 
berg to take instruction with Hildegard that she 
decided to move to her own quarters. The abbot 
refused to allow the women to depart; in response, 
Hildegard described a vision that she had had, in 
which evil would fall upon the monastery if the 
women were not permitted to leave. The abbot 
relented, and Hildegard established a convent at Bin- 
gen, called St. Rupert's, with herself as abbess. 

During her days as abbess at Bingen, Hildegard 
corresponded with a variety of church officials, 
including four popes and the German emperor 
Frederick I (1123-90). Her correspondence reveals 
several conflicts at St. Rupert's that required Hilde- 
gard's mediation. 

The first occurred in 1178, when the clergy of 
Mainz, in the diocese in which Bingen was located, 
claimed that an excommunicant had been buried on 
the monastery property, and that the body should be 
removed from the sacred ground. Hildegard coun- 
tered that the man had been reconciled to the church 
before his death. The priest refused to believe that he 
had been reconciled, and he mandated that the body 
had to be exhumed for burial elsewhere. Unchas- 
tened, Hildegard proceeded to conceal the man's 
grave, so that the body could not be exhumed. In 
response, the bishop put the convent under interdict, 
meaning that the nuns could not receive communion 
or other sacraments. Hildegard fired off a series of let- 
ters to church officials in Mainz, describing a vision 
she had of an evil power inundating St. Rupert's if the 
man's body were taken away. 

When the clerics refused to yield, Hildegard called 
in her friend, Archbishop Philip of Koln, to inter- 



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RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



vene. To act as witness, the archbishop found a 
knight who claimed to have been absolved at the 
same time as the dead man. The interdict was lifted, 
and life at the convent resumed. 

When Hildegard von Bingen died, her sisters 
claimed that two streams of light appeared in the sky 
and crossed over the room in which Hildegard lay, 
waiting for death. The visions of light that Hildegard 
had during her life are perhaps her most important 
contribution to the Christian faith; in dying, she 
seemed to be leaving her sisters with a last impression 
of the essence of her faith and her life. She described 
one of her visions this way: 

And it came to pass . . . when I was forty-two 
years and seven months old, that the heavens 
were opened and a blinding light of exceptional 
brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so 
it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, 
not burning but warming brightly. 

The process of canonization, through which impor- 
tant church figures are granted sainthood, began imme- 
diately after Hildegard's death, but it was abandoned, 
unfinished. The inquisitors had failed to record the 
names of people or places in their descriptions of mira- 
cles attributed to Hildegard. The Catholic church has 
beatified her, proclaiming Hildegard to be blessed and 
worthy of religious honor; she is frequently referred to 
as a saint. The move to canonize her continues. 

Further Reading 

Ensemble fur Friihe Musik Augsburg. Hildegard von Bin- 
gen und ihre Zeit [sound recording]. Heidelberg: 
Christophorus, 1990. 

Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A 
Visionary Life. London: Routledge, 1990. 

Fox, Matthew. Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, with 
commentary by Matthew Fox. Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Bear & 
Co., 1985. 



A JOAN, POPE (Joan of Ingelheim) 

(c. 814— c. 858) German or English pope 

For a thousand years, writers, scholars, and historians 
have debated the historicity of the legend of Pope 



Joan, and with good reason: her tale is a gripping 
one. An intelligent young woman, eager to learn but 
shunned because of her sex, disguised herself as a 
man and traveled to Athens (or possibly Fulda, Ger- 
many) where her oratory earned many accolades. She 
then set forth for Rome around 844, where, 
impressed with her intellectual talents, the Catholic 
Church made her a notary, a cardinal, and finally 
elected her Pope John Anglicus in c. 855. After about 
two years, as Pope John led a procession from the 
Coliseum to St. Clements Cathedral, she went into 
labor and gave birth, whereupon her gender was dis- 
covered and she was stoned to death. Whether the 
crowd murdered her for her deception or for break- 
ing her vow of celibacy, no one knows for sure. 

Joan's story is certainly plausible. Throughout the 
ages, women have had to disguise themselves as men 
to achieve the power and recognition they have 
deserved. Some women, such as George ELIOT, 
merely adopted a male nom de plume; others, such 
as AGNODIKE, actually assumed a male identity. 
Joan's story differs from others in that almost all 
records of her existence were deliberately obliterated. 
To some degree, until recently, all women share 
Joan's experience. Because historians traditionally 
have not considered ordinary women as shapers of 
human history, their lives have typically not been 
recorded in history books. 

Several chroniclers have recounted Joan's story in 
the past 800 years. The first extant sources are the 
writings of 13th-century Dominicans John de Mailly, 
Stephen de Bourbon, and Martin of Troppau. Trop- 
pau's account circulated most widely; he declared 
that Pope John Anglicus was, in fact, an educated 
woman who came to Rome from Athens. Platina, a 
15th-century Vatican librarian, described Joan as a 
German-born woman who had disguised herself as a 
man so that she could accompany her lover to 
Athens. Her intelligence so astounded her audiences 
that when Pope Leo IV died (855), she was chosen by 
common consent to replace him. In the 19th century, 
the Greek novelist Emmanuel Royidis wrote a satiri- 
cal romance based on Joan's experiences titled simply 
Pope foan. Royidis claimed to have based his book, 
first published in 1886, upon fact. 



215 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



More recently, novelists and journalists have 
explored the possibility of Joan's existence through his- 
torical fiction. In Donna Woolfolk Cross's Pope Joan, 
the heroine follows her brother John to the cathedral 
school in Dornstadt, Germany, where she is the sole 
female student. Later, when John is brutally killed in a 
Viking raid, Joan dons his clothing and travels to the 
Fulda monastery, where, pretending to be him, she 
becomes Brother John Anglicus, a healer. Later, in 
Rome, her healing powers gain the confidence of the 
Vatican, and she is ultimately elected pope. 

Cross's final chapter includes a discussion of the 
question of Joan's existence. Up until the 16th cen- 
tury, Joan's papacy was universally known and 
accepted by the Catholic hierarchy. However, after 
the Protestant Reformation, which began in 1517, 
the Catholic Church came under increasing attack 
and began a deliberate effort to destroy the embar- 
rassing record of a female pope who gave birth during 
her rule. Manuscripts that confirmed Joan's existence 
were seized and destroyed by the Vatican, and records 
of her papacy were erased. Some Catholics, in turn, 
dismiss the myth of Joan as a Protestant invention 
designed to cast shame upon the Catholic Church. 
They claim that disaffected Catholics created the 
Joan myth as an allusion to the domination of two 
women who influenced politics during the Byzantine 
Empire, Theodora I (900-926) and Theodora II 
(died 950), and who completely controlled the elec- 
tion of popes during the early tenth century. 

Donna Woolfolk Cross offers the Papal Seat as her 
final piece of evidence that Pope Joan really existed. 
The Catholic Church used the Papal Seat (in Latin, 
sella stercoraria; literally, "dung seat") to determine 
the gender of the elected pope for almost 600 years 
after Joan's papacy. The chair, which still exists today, 
looks like a wooden toilet seat, or an obstetrical chair. 
A keyhole shape was cut out of the seat of the chair to 
enable a deacon to examine the genitals of the pope- 
elect and pronounce him male. Rodrigo Borgia, 
Lucrezia BORGIA's father, took his turn in the Papal 
Seat as Pope Alexander VI, despite assurances from 
his mistress that he had fathered her children! 

Joan's story — whether true or not — remains com- 
pelling because many women, and members of other 



oppressed groups, continue to identify with Joan's 
struggle for recognition in a male-dominated institu- 
tion such as the Catholic Church. "If Joan wasn't 
Pope," wrote one reviewer of Cross's book, "she 
should have been." 

Further Reading 

Cross, Donna Woolfolk. Pope Joan: A Novel. New York: 

Crown Publishers, Inc., 1996. 
Royidis, Emmanuel. Pope Joan, trans. Lawrence Durrell. 

New York: E.P. Dutton, 1961. 
Standford, Peter. The Legend of Pope Joan: In Search of the 

Truth. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. 



A KEMPE, MARGERY 

(c. 1373-1438) English Christian mystic 
and autobiographer 

Margery Kempe's historical significance lies in her 
autobiography, believed to be the first ever written 
in the English language. Kempe's book, intended 
for the edification of nuns, is part mystical treatise, 
part moral lesson, and part history of 15th-century 
Europe in the form of a travelogue. Kempe's world 
was full of contradictions: piety and profanity, 
ignorance and enlightenment, spiritual and worldly 
all rolled together in one life. Her primary aims 
were to live a life devoted to Christ and to obtain 
official recognition of her status as a spiritual leader 
from the Catholic Church. While she seems to 
have reached her first goal, her second goal 
remained elusive. 

The Book of Margery Kempe, originally published 
in 1431, was lost until 1934, when a manuscript of 
the book suddenly reappeared. A scholar named 
Hope Emily Allen visited the library of Colonel But- 
ler-Bowdon of Pleasington Old Hall, Lancashire, 
where she found an enormous manuscript that 
turned out to be Margery Kempe's autobiography. 
Allen was familiar with Kempe's work through the 
16th-century printer Wynkyn de Worde (see Mar- 
garet BEAUFORT), who had published a seven-page 
pamphlet of verses called A shorte treatyse ofcontem- 
placyons taught by our lorde Ihesu cryste, taken out of 
the booke ofMargerie Kempe of Lynn (1501). 



216 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



Margery Kempe was the daughter of a prosperous 
merchant of Kings Lynn, England. Kings Lynn, 
north of London, had become a thriving center of 
trade and manufacture by the 14th century. Kempe's 
father, merchant John Brunham, served as the town's 
mayor five times between 1370 and 1391. Margery 
married John Kempe, a merchant and town official, 
with whom she had 14 children. She attempted to 
run two businesses before the birth of her last child at 
the age of 40: a brewery and a mill. Both businesses 
failed. After the birth of her first child, Kempe suf- 
fered an attack of hysteria, including outbursts of 
crying and wailing and self-inflicted wounds. Toward 
the end of the episode, Kempe received a vision of 
Christ. In gratitude, she and her husband made a pil- 
grimage to Canterbury, England, east of London. In 
1413, she persuaded her husband that God was ask- 
ing them to take a vow of celibacy. 

Her visions of Christ continued long after her 
Canterbury pilgrimage. She experienced what was 
considered, in the Middle Ages (1300-1500), to be 
typical signs of spiritual awakenings: profound 
lamentation, uncontrollable weeping, and wild gyra- 
tions on the ground. Kempe's hysterical visions, com- 
bined with her denunciation of all pleasure, her belief 
in mortification (the self-inflicting of pain for spiri- 
tual benefit), and her insistence that all conversation 
be exclusively religious, smacked of Lollardism to 
some of her contemporaries. 

Lollards were followers of the English religious 
reformer John Wycliffe (1328?-84). Lollardism 
developed as a religious sect in the 1380s and contin- 
ued until 1420. Wycliffe preached obedience to God, 
reliance on the Bible as a strict guide to Christian liv- 
ing, and simplicity of worship. His followers rejected 
the ritual and opulence of the Catholic Mass, the 
sacraments, and the infallibility of the pope. Lollards 
wore russet gowns, carried staffs, and lived off what 
they could beg. Henry IV (1366-1413) of England 
persecuted the Lollards, because their beliefs ran 
counter to Catholic doctrine and to English law. In 
the 1420s, Kempe was tried at Leicester, England, for 
heresy. She narrowly escaped burning at the stake 
when the archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Cicheley 
(1362P-1443), intervened on her behalf. 



Perhaps out of fear of further persecution, or 
because she felt a calling, Margery Kempe and her 
husband made another pilgrimage, this time to one 
of the holiest of Christian places, Jerusalem. They 
traveled to the Holy Land via Rome, where, in 1415, 
Kempe underwent a "mystical marriage" to Christ. In 
1417, Kempe visited the Shrine of St. James at Santi- 
ago de Compostela, in northern Spain. She returned 
to Norwich, England, where she consulted Julian of 
Norwich for spiritual advice. Kempe spent the next 
six years nursing her husband until his death in 1431. 
After she buried both her husband and her son, who 
had died in the same year, she and her daughter-in- 
law embarked upon another pilgrimage to religious 
places in England, Germany, and Poland. 

The unusual intensity of Margery Kempe's piety, 
and the fact that she was a married woman, was 
undoubtedly threatening to more orthodox believers, 
and therefore, her desires for recognition by church 
officials went unheeded. Kempe was unusual, too, in 
that she was illiterate. Most children of prominent, 
middle-class burgers — even daughters — were learning 
to read and write in 15th-century England. Kempe 
therefore dictated her autobiography to scribes, who 
faithfully recorded her words for posterity. 

Further Reading 

Atkinson, Clarissa W. Of Mystic and Pilgrim: The Book and 
World of Margery Kempe. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univer- 
sity Press, 1983. 

Hirsch, John C. The Revelations of Margery Kempe: 
Paramystical Practices in Late Medieval England. New 
York: E. J. Brill, 1989. 

Kempe, Margery. The Book of Margery Kempe, edited by 
Barry Windeatt. New York: Longman, 2000. 



& LEE, ANN (Mother Ann) 

(1736-1784) British religious leader 

The cold intolerance, intellectualism, and indiffer- 
ence toward the needy that allegedly characterized 
the Anglican Church led Ann Lee to found a Christ- 
ian sect called the Shakers that she based on the 
opposite: tolerance; heartfelt, open expressions of 
faith; and compassion for others. In the American 



217 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



colonies the Shakers opened the way for the religious 
liberty that would come to distinguish the new 
United States (see Elizabeth SETON for incidents of 
intolerance in the United States). Ann Lee's Shakers, 
or United Society of Believers in Christ's Second 
Appearance, were the first American religious group 
to espouse pacifism, abolition of slavery, equality of 
the sexes, communal property, and absolute celibacy. 

A number of spiritual leaders in England — put off 
by the Anglican Church — spawned an anticlerical, 
evangelical revival in the 1 8th century. Some revival- 
ists remained orthodox in their theology, merely 
infusing traditional Christianity with spontaneous, 
emotional worship services. Others, like the Shakers, 
departed with convention by insisting on celibacy for 
all members and by welcoming female ministers. Dr. 
Samuel Johnson summed up conventional attitudes 
toward women preachers by commenting, "a woman 
preaching is like a dog walking on its hind legs: it is 
not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at 
all." 

The practice of celibacy among certain Chris- 
tians has been around since at least the time of the 
Apostle Paul (d. c. 64 C.E.). In the 1600s, Bishop 
Ken summarized the Anglican attitude toward 
celibacy among ministers: 

A virgin priest the altar best attends, 

A state the Lord commands not, but commends. 

Ann Lee extended the vow of celibacy to all mem- 
bers. She developed an early revulsion toward sexual 
intercourse and became convinced that the sexual act 
was the original sin of Adam and Eve, and that lust 
spawned all evil. 

Little is known of Ann Lee's childhood. She was 
born on February 29, 1736, the second of eight chil- 
dren in an oppressively overcrowded, filthy Manches- 
ter slum. Her father, John Lee, was a ne'er-do-well 
blacksmith, never able to feed his family. Lee 
remained uneducated and illiterate, serving as a cook 
in an insane asylum when she was old enough to 
work. The squalor and alcoholism she witnessed 
among Manchester's poor convinced her that moral 
sin and depravity led to ruin. 



In 1758, Lee found consolation in a religious sect 
formed by former Quakers Jane and James Wardley 
known as the Shaking Quakers, or Shakers for short. 
The Shakers borrowed many Quaker tenets, includ- 
ing the notion that all humans possess an inner light 
designed to lead them to spiritual truth. During 
Shaker meetings, however, believers would meditate 
until the Holy Spirit manifested itself in them, at 
which time they began violently shaking, shouting, 
and singing. Shakers' boisterous behavior, including 
crashing into other worship services and proclaiming 
the worshipers a sinful, lustful lot, resulted in charges 
of disturbing the peace, arrests, fines, and — because 
many of them could not pay the fines — jail sen- 
tences. The Shakers also believed that the Second 
Coming of Christ was eminent, and, in a departure 
from any other Christian sect, that when Christ came 
"he" would be a "she." They reasoned that since he 
first appeared on earth as a man, his second appear- 
ance would surely be as a woman. 

In 1762, Ann Lee succumbed to a marriage to a 
blacksmith's apprentice, Abraham Standerin, arranged 
by her father. Bride and groom were illiterate, and the 
marriage registry is marked with two X's instead of 
their names. Lee gave birth to four children, all of 
whom died. Lee believed the deaths were God's pun- 
ishment for her earthly indulgences. Husband and 
wife quarreled over Lee's insistence upon a celibate 
marriage, but apparently Standerin relented for the 
time being, since he, too, became a Shaker. 

During a night spent in jail after a Shaker meeting 
in 1770, Lee beheld a vision that changed her life and 
the lives of the other Shakers. The vision included 
Adam and Eve and the second, female, Christ. From 
that point on, she referred to herself as Mother Ann 
or Ann the Word. Filled with a new self-confidence 
and purpose, Lee became the undisputed leader of 
the Shakers. As her self-assurance soared, however, so 
did her vehemence: soon, the nights in jail were pre- 
ceded and followed by violent street riots against the 
Shakers. In 1774, the well-to-do Shaker John Hock- 
nell booked passages for the tiny group on the 
Mariah, headed for the United States. The Shakers 
spent two years in New York City, where they waited 
for spiritual guidance to determine where they would 



218 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



settle. Lee's marriage fell apart in the meantime when 
Standerin brought a prostitute into their bedroom 
one night, demanding that either Lee sleep with him, 
or he would commit adultery. Lee refused, Standerin 
and his guest stomped out, never to be seen again. 

In 1776, Ann Lee founded the American Shaker 
Society near Albany, New York, where the group was 
generally well accepted. The Society refused to bear 
arms during the American Revolution, and Ann Lee 
and the others were imprisoned in July 1780 for 
refusing to acknowledge the laws of the land. During 
the war, rumors spread that, because they were Eng- 
lish, the Shakers were actually British spies. However, 
the gossip soon dissipated, and many local citizens 
protested the mistreatment of the sect, citing revolu- 
tionary ideals of freedom and liberty. 

When Ann Lee was released from prison, she and 
other Shaker elders set out on a missionary journey to 
gather more converts. Several new Shaker communi- 
ties were established (the sect reached its peak around 
1840, when there were some 6,000 Shakers). How- 
ever, several instances of mob violence occurred from 
which Lee never recovered. She died near Albany on 
September 8, 1784. 

Elders Lucy Wright and Joseph Meacham wore 
the mantle of leadership jointly after Mother Ann's 
death. They insisted on stricter communal lifestyles, 
but they never recanted the vow of celibacy, which, 
within the next 100 years, doomed the religious 
order to extinction. 

Further Reading 

Campion, Nardi Reeder. Ann the Word. Boston: Little, 
Brown, 1976. 

Evans, F. W. Ann Lee, the Founder of the Shakers: A Biogra- 
phy. London: J. Burns, 1858. 

A MAHAPRAJAPATI (Prajapati) 

(c. 6th-5th centuries B.C.E.) Indian 
Buddhist nun 

Mahaprajapati, the aunt of the founder of Buddhism, 
Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-c. 483 B.C.E.), estab- 
lished the first order of Buddhist nuns in world his- 
tory. Gautama's mother died seven days after his 



birth, and his aunt, who married her sister's widowed 
husband Shuddhodana, reared the young boy along 
with her other children. The establishment of an 
order of female renunciants provoked controversy 
over the role of women in the Buddhist religion that 
has never been fully eradicated, despite the large 
numbers of Buddhist nuns that exist today. Mahapra- 
japati, according to writer Karma Leksha Tsomo, 
"started a spiritual and social revolution" when she 
asked the Buddha to ordain a community of nuns. 

The exact birth dates of Mahaprajapati and Sid- 
dhartha Gautama are unknown, although "Western 
scholars generally agree on 563 B.C.E. as Siddhartha's 
birth date. Gautama, born in the northern Indian vil- 
lage of Kapilavastu, today located in Nepal, came 
from the Shakya clan, whose members belonged to 
the kshatriya, or warrior caste (only the Brahmin 
caste ranks higher in the caste system). Gautama had 
married and produced a son, but the omnipresence 
and inevitability of pain and suffering took a heavy 
toll on the 29-year-old man, and he renounced his 
family and clan and became an ascetic. Ascetics, who 
were relatively common in India at the time, wan- 
dered throughout the countryside teaching, meditat- 
ing, and begging for their subsistence. Gautama 
practiced yoga, refrained from sexual activity, and 
organized a community of disciples, some of whom 
renounced society as Gautama had done, while oth- 
ers followed Gautama's meditations but remained 
with their families. The charismatic Gautama and his 
followers sought escape from the human condition 
(relentless pain and suffering) through meditation 
that would ultimately bring enlightenment, or nir- 
vana. Gautama, better known as the Buddha ("one 
who has awakened"), instructed his followers (called 
the Sangha) in the dharma (truth) and the Middle 
Way, a path between a worldly existence and intense 
spirituality. 

Buddhist monks and nuns begin their instruction 
by accepting the Buddha's Four Noble Truths: 

1. Life is fundamentally disappointing and replete 
with suffering 

2. Suffering is the result of one's desire for pleasure, 
power, and continued existence 



219 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



3. To stop suffering one must end one's desires 

4. To end desire is to follow the eight-fold path, 
which consists of 

1 . right views 

2. right intentions 

3. right speech 

4. right action 

5. right livelihood 

6. right effort 

7. right awareness 

8. right concentration 

Some years after Gautama had severed ties with his 
family, Mahaprajapati, who had followed the Buddha's 
teachings, approached him on the question of female 
asceticism. A charismatic woman who lived during a 
time when few women pursued an ascetic life, 
Mahaprajapati and 500 of her followers traveled from 
Kapilavastu for an audience at the Buddha's temple. 
Buddhist scriptures, recorded some 400 years after the 
Buddha's death, describe Mahaprajapati asking the 
Buddha ". . . if it is possible for your reverence to allow 
women to obtain the benefits of the mendicant life." 
The Buddha is said to have responded by telling his 
aunt that only she should be able to shave her head 
and don the robes of the Sangha. Disappointed, 
Mahaprajapati left the temple. The Buddha's closest 
disciple, Ananda, found Mahaprajapati weeping by the 
gate and asked her to tell him why she was crying. 
When she explained that the Buddha had rejected her 
request, Ananda spoke to the Buddha himself and 
convinced him to ordain the women. When the Bud- 
dha relented, he outlined the following eight rules that 
female mendicants would be obliged to follow: 

1 . Women are expected to request ordination in the 
presence of monks 

2. A nun must seek the teachings and instructions 
every half month 

3. No nun may spend a rainy season in a place where 
no monks are resident 

4. After the rainy season a nun must have both orders 
(monks and nuns) perform the end of the rainy sea- 
son ceremony for her with reference to the seeing, 
hearing, or suspicion of faults committed by her 



5. Nuns may not accuse or warn a monk about 
transgressions in morality, heretical views, con- 
duct, or livelihood; it is not forbidden for a monk 
to accuse a nun 

6. A nun should not scold or admonish a monk 

7. When a nun violates the eight rules, penance 
must be performed every half month 

8. A nun of one hundred years of age shall perform 
the correct duties to a monk; she shall, with her 
hands folded in prayerful attitude, rise to greet 
him and then bow down to him 

The Buddha raised concerns regarding the 
renunciant life for women. He feared that women 
would only enter the monastery after their hus- 
bands had died and they had no means of liveli- 
hood, and that their vows would not be sincere. He 
worried that family life would disintegrate if women 
joined the Sangha, while at the same time, he 
acknowledged that women's presence in the com- 
munity would bridge the division that existed 
between the mendicant life and the outside world, 
threatening the community. Buddhist monks 
defined themselves, in part, by what they were not: 
they did not live with women and did not engage in 
sexual activity. In short, Buddha worried that the 
presence of women would distract the men. In this 
regard, the Buddha viewed women primarily as sex- 
ual beings, not realizing that women, like men, 
could and have rejected sexuality in favor of a more 
spiritual or intellectual life. 

Once accepted, Buddhist nuns lived the mendi- 
cant life with gusto. They produced songs and hymns 
that were collected and became known as the Theri- 
gatha — The Songs of the Women Elders — part of the 
canon of Theraveda Buddhism. Despite the vigor 
with which they pursued Buddhist life, however, his- 
torians agree that some centuries after the Buddha's 
death, monks became less receptive toward female 
mendicants, insisting that women could not achieve 
nirvana and therefore should not be part of the 
Sangha. Like all world religions, Buddhism split into 
various sects as the belief system spread. Theraveda 
Buddhism, the oldest and (its followers claim) the 
sect most in line with the Buddha's practices, is also 



220 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



the most conservative and the one most dismissive of 
women. Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism, the newest 
sect, welcomes women's participation most enthusi- 
astically. Today there are thousands of women who 
have followed in the footsteps of Mahaprajapati and 
pursued the disciplined life of the Sangha. 

Further Reading 

Gross, Rita M. Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist His- 
tory, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. New 
York: SUNY Press, 1993. 

Paul, Diana Y. Women in Buddhism: Images of the Feminine 
in the Mahayana Tradition. Berkeley: University of Cal- 
ifornia Press, 1985- 

Tsomo, Karma Lekshe. Buddhist Women Across Cultures: 
Realizations. New York: SUNY Press, 1999. 



A MIRABAI (Mira) 

(1498— c. 1550) Indian poet and lyricist 

Indian poet Mirabai, India's most famous medieval 
woman saint, wrote devotional poems and music still 
recited and sung today by devoted Hindus. Popular 
versions of her music appear on Indian radio and in 
films. Though much of her work has been described 
as religious and devotional, it is also passionate, 
erotic, and highly emotional. 

During Mirabai's lifetime, turmoil and conflict 
plagued northwestern India, where she was born in 
the village of Merta, in a region called Rajasthan. 
India came increasingly under the influence of Mus- 
lim kings who invaded Rajasthan from Afghanistan. 
Mirabai grew up in a noble, well-educated family of 
maharajas, or local rulers, living in a lavishly 
equipped fortress that they used to defend them- 
selves against Muslim attacks. Mirabai's family was 
Vaishnava, or worshippers of the Hindu god Vishnu. 
Like most Hindu families, Mirabai's was strictly 
patriarchal; honor among both sexes was expected. 
In men, honor implied courage and military 
prowess; in women, honor signified obedience, loy- 
alty to family, and chastity. 

The Hindu religion in India has ancient roots dat- 
ing back to the Aryan, or Indo-European, invasion of 
India that occurred around 1500 B.C.E. Aryan reli- 



gious practices blended with indigenous religions to 
form the Hindu religion. There is no single set of reli- 
gious beliefs or practices in the Hindu religion; 
instead, it is a fluid mass of religious ideas and expres- 
sions. Among some, Hinduism is monotheistic 
(Mirabai falls into this category). Among others, 
Hinduism is polytheistic, involving the worship of 
many gods. There is no clear-cut path toward truth 
or error in Hindu life; instead, a variety of truths 
exist, which are sometimes contradictory, existing 
alongside each other. 

The chief Hindu gods are Brahma (the supreme 
being), Vishnu (the force of preservation), and Shiva 
(who is both creator and destroyer). Central to Hin- 
duism is the belief in reincarnation and in karma, or 
the notion that past actions determine one's present 
life. Temples are the Hindu places of worship and rit- 
ual, and festivals mark days of celebration. Hindus 
regard the Vedas, or hymns, and the more philosoph- 
ical Upanishads, as scriptures. The epic Bhagavad- 
Gita, written around 100 B.C.E., contains wisdom 
and philosophy. 

Hinduism also includes a social hierarchy. 
Although some believe that the caste system was 
actually constructed by Brahmin priests, devout Hin- 
dus accept the caste system as part of their religion. 
The Brahman, or priestly class, receives the highest 
social rank; the Kshatriya, or warrior caste, comes 
next; the Vaisya, or traders and farmers, below that; 
and the Sudra, or servants, comprise the lowest caste. 
Those living outside the caste system are known as 
untouchables and include those who kill for a living, 
such as butchers, and workers who come into contact 
with human waste. There are numerous divisions 
within each caste. A Hindu is born into his or her 
caste and cannot rise above it during this lifetime. It 
is thought that one's karma, or past actions, deter- 
mine the caste into which one is born. 

Some Hindus believe that the god Vishnu appeared 
in human form as Krishna. Krishna's worshippers are 
called Vaishnavas. Hindu households have gods that 
are worshipped as part of family life, and Mirabai's 
family was devoted to Krishna. Mirabai's mother died 
very young, and since her father was a military man, 
she was sent to live with her grandmother. When she 



221 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



was 18, her family arranged to marry her to Prince 
Sisodiya Bhoj Raj, the heir apparent of the ruler of 
Mewar. The marriage was a political one, designed to 
strengthen the region against the Muslim threat. Tradi- 
tion called for a woman to take on the religion of the 
man she married. 

The first duty of a daughter-in-law, according to 
Hindu custom, was to perform a puja, or worship rit- 
ual, before the family deity. The Bhoj Raj household 
goddess was Kali, associated with the Hindu god 
Shiva. Mirabai refused to perform the ceremony, 
continuing to worship Krishna instead. Some have 
also suggested that she refused to consummate her 
marriage. Bhoj Raj died in battle three years later. 

No longer tied to a marriage, Mirabai began con- 
sorting with sadhus, or wandering yellow-robed holy 
men. She had accepted a Raidas, or a man of very 
low caste, as her guru, or religious instructor. Her 
brother-in-law, Vikramjit Singh, became convinced 
that Mirabai, because of her contacts with the wan- 
dering ascetics, was spying for the Muslim invaders. 
Legend has it that Singh, together with Mirabai's 
mother-in-law, conspired to assassinate her three 
times. After the third attempt, Mirabai fled. She 
could not return to her father's house, because he 
had been killed in battle against the Mughal, or 
Muslim, emperor Babur (1483-1530). Instead, she 
began a pilgrimage. 

During her religious pilgrimage across Rajasthan, 
she sought out places where Krishna was rumored to 
appear, in forests and villages throughout the region. 
Mirabai learned to play the bamboo flute, the instru- 
ment associated with Krishna. 

She traveled to Vrindaban, the site of Krishna's 
childhood, and a gathering place for his worshippers. 
Here she came to know Jiva Goswami, a guru of the 
Vaishnava worshippers to whom Mirabai's family had 
belonged. When Goswami refused to see Mirabai, 
she boldly reminded him that at Vrindaban, Krishna 
was the only male among his devotees, who were 
gopis, or female cowherders. Legend has it that Jiva 
Goswami relented and admitted Mirabai. 

No one knows exactly how many songs and poems 
Mirabai composed. Parashuram Caturvedi compiled 
the most authoritative collection of Mirabai's poetry 



in 1983. This book, titled Mirambai ki Padavali, pres- 
ents 202 songs that can be attributed to Mirabai, with 
another 18 whose authorship is uncertain. Mirabai's 
poems may have been written in a vernacular lan- 
guage called Gujarati, but were translated into Hindi 
during her lifetime. They show her to be intensely 
devoted to Krishna, whom she refers to as Giridhara 
or Girdhar, literally "lifter of mountains." The cir- 
cumstances of Mirabai's death are unknown. 

Further Reading 

Alston, A. J. Devotional Poems of Mirabai. Delhi: Motilal 

Banarsidas, 1980. 
Goetz, Hermann. Mira Bai, Her Life and Times. Bombay: 

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1966. 
Schelling, Andrew. For Love of the Dark One. Boston: 

Shambhala, 1993. 
Tharu, Susie, and K. Lalita. Women Writing in India. Vol. I: 

600 B.C. to the Present. New York: Feminist Press, 1991. 



& ODUYOYE, MERCY AMBA 

(1934— ) Ghanaian theologian 

Mercy Amba Oduyoye developed a Christian libera- 
tion theology based upon her knowledge of, and expe- 
riences within, her African cultural heritage. Like 
CHO WHA SOON in Korea, she has become particu- 
larly interested in the liberation of women whose 
oppression has arisen from social, religious, or cultural 
ideologies. Oduyoye is president of the Ecumenical 
Association of Third World Theologians, and in that 
capacity she continues to make the world aware of the 
great potential that Africans, and other non-Euro- 
peans, have for contributing to Christian theology. 

Born in Asamankese, Ghana, Mercy Amba Oduy- 
oye is the daughter of the Methodist Reverend 
Charles Kwaw and Mercy Dakwaa Yamoah. Ghana, a 
nation on Africa's west coast, includes about 1 00 eth- 
nic groups, each with its own language and cultural 
heritage. English is Ghana's official langauge, with 44 
percent of the population speaking Akan. Oduyoye 
was raised in the Akan cultural tradition, a tradition 
that influenced her religious beliefs. About 38 per- 
cent of Ghanaians practice a traditional African reli- 
gion involving a belief in a Supreme Being and 



222 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



supernatural phenomena. About 30 percent of 
Ghanaians are Muslim, and 24 percent are Christian. 
Reverend Kwaw, an educator and minister, preached 
in three parishes in Akan communities. 

As a child, Mercy received instruction on Christ- 
ian theology but also in the Akan culture and in the 
native Ga language. In 1954, she completed a certifi- 
cate of education from Kumasi College of Technol- 
ogy and obtained a teaching certificate from the 
Methodist Ministry of Education. She taught at a 
Methodist girl's school in Kumasi before continuing 
her education at the University of Ghana in Legon, 
Accra. After receiving her B.A. in religious studies in 
1963, she left for England to pursue graduate studies. 
Cambridge University awarded her an M.A. in theol- 
ogy in 1969. Since then, she has received honorary 
doctorates from the Academy of Ecumenical Indian 
Theology and the University of Amsterdam. 

While growing up, Mercy Amba Oduyoye viewed 
with a critical eye the manner in which the European 
Christian missionaries placed themselves at a distance 
from the African communities they were supposed to 
serve. They kept to themselves even more than did 
the British government officials. Ghana's history as a 
colony influenced Mercy's theology and her interest 
in social justice. 

Ghana had been a British protectorate since 1901 
(see Flora SHAW and Beryl MARKHAM for more on 
British imperialism in Africa). Nationalists began 
organizing after World War II (1939-45), and in 
1951, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah 
(1909-72), the Convention People's Party won con- 
trol of the Ghanaian government. In 1957, Ghana 
became the first African colony to gain independence 
from Great Britain. In 1960, the country became a 
republic, and Nkrumah became its elected president. 

Oduyoye sees Africa, and particularly West Africa, 
as a mixture of traditional African culture, Islamic 
norms, and Western civilization. Each has, in its own 
way, contributed to the oppression of women. She is 
proudest, however, of her Akan heritage, which she 
feels has helped her understand the centrality of 
women in the human community. Traditional Akan 
society is built upon matrilineal clans; members trace 
their descent from common female ancestors. Matri- 



lineal descent determines inheritance, succession, 
and land tenure. 

Having been raised in a multicultural setting, 
Oduyoye is particularly sensitive to how different cul- 
tural groups hear the Christian Gospel. For example, 
the Akan culture is rich in oral traditions that provide 
a basis for hearing the Gospel through the spoken lan- 
guage. This, she points out, is what missionaries miss 
when they isolate themselves from the communities 
that they were intended to serve. Oduyoye believes 
that one's cultural background determines, in part, 
the type of Christian one becomes. "It is as an 
African," she explains, "that I am a Christian." 

African Christianity differs from that found else- 
where in the world. "Africans experience God — 
Nana — as the good parent, the grandparent," 
explains Oduyoye in her book Daughters of Anowa: 
African Women and Patriarchy (1995). "Some say he 
is father, others say she is mother. But the sentiment 
is the same: Nana is the source of loving-kindness 
and protection." Africans use symbols, language, and 
prayer to demonstrate their dependence on God. The 
Akan expression Gye Nyame means the belief that 
without God, nothing holds together. In African 
Christianity, God does not suffer from the evil that 
humans do to each other; instead, God demonstrates 
concern as the creator of humanity. Many African 
women view patriarchy as the clear substitution of 
the will of God for the will of the male over the 
female. They refuse to allow men to obscure the 
image of God in themselves by submitting to their 
husbands. Other women view God as the source of 
patriarchy and Jesus as the liberator. God sent his son 
Jesus Christ, according to these women, to express 
his concern for their oppression. 

Mercy Amba Oduyoye confirms her liberation 
theology — the notion of Christianity as the means by 
which the oppressed can free themselves — but offers 
a criticism of it as well. She notes that despite Third 
World liberation theologians' calls for social justice, 
some of those theologians are unaware that sexism is 
basic to the web of oppression in which most Third 
World people live. Christianity will only be credible, 
she insists, when African women become liberated 
through the Christian religion. 



223 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



After receiving her graduate degree from Cam- 
bridge University, Oduyoye served as youth educa- 
tion secretary for the World Council of Christian 
Education and held other positions within the World 
Council of Churches and the All-Africa Conference 
of Churches. She taught at the religious studies 
department at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 
from 1974 to 1986, when she also edited ORITA, 
the Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies. She held a 
research assistant position at Harvard Divinity 
School from 1985 to 1986, and then she became the 
Henry Luce Visiting Professor at Union Theological 
Seminary the following year. She is the first African 
woman to become a member of the "World Council 
of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order. She is 
married to Adedoyin Modupe Oduyoye, with whom 
Mercy has raised five foster children. 

Further Reading 

Madigan, Shawn, ed. Mystics, Visionaries, and Prophets: A 
Historical Anthology of Women's Spiritual Writings. Min- 
neapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 1998. 

Oduyoye, Mercy Amba. Daughters of Anowa: African 
Women and Patriarchy. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 
1995. 

. Who Will Roll the Stone Away? The Ecumenical 

Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women. 
Geneva: WCC Publications, 1990. 



A SETON, ELIZABETH (Elizabeth Ann 
Bayley Seton; Mother Seton) 

(1774-1821) American religious leader 

Elizabeth Seton, the first American woman to found 
an order of nuns and to be declared a saint by the 
Catholic Church, initiated the parochial school sys- 
tem and the first Catholic orphanage in the United 
States. Ironically, Seton was raised in the Protestant 
faith; in fact, her work in the Episcopal Church in 
New York City was so well known that her nickname 
was "Protestant Sister of Charity." Not surprisingly, 
her conversion to the Catholic faith horrified her 
friends and family, and she was ostracized from the 
society and culture in which she was raised. Indeed, 
so deeply did prejudices against Catholics run in 



New York that she considered fleeing to Canada. 
Instead, she moved to Maryland and founded the 
American Sisters of Charity in 1809. 

Elizabeth Bayley was born on August 28, 1774, 
into a distinguished New York colonial family. Her 
father, Richard Bayley, worked as a physician for the 
port of New York and taught anatomy at King's Col- 
lege (later Columbia University). Her mother, 
Catherine Charlton Bayley, was the daughter of the 
rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Staten 
Island, New York. Elizabeth Bayley spent much of 
her childhood ministering to the sick and needy; her 
benefactors came to know her as the Protestant Sister 
of Charity. Even the letters she wrote as a young girl 
reveal deeply held spiritual and religious convictions. 

At the age of 19, Bayley married a wealthy mer- 
chant and banker named William Magee Seton. The 
couple had five children. In 1797, Elizabeth Seton 
continued her charity work when she and her friend 
Isabella Marshall Graham formed a society to minis- 
ter to destitute widowed mothers in New York. The 
following six years, however, tested Seton's faith to its 
core. "William Seton's business failed — a disaster from 
which he never recovered. His health fared no better, 
and in 1803, the couple and their eldest daughter, 
Anna Maria, traveled to Italy, where they hoped 
William's health would benefit from the drier cli- 
mate. They stayed with their friends the Filicchi fam- 
ily of Livorno, on Italy's west coast. Six weeks after 
their journey began, however, William died. 

Antonio and Filippo Filicchi were Catholics, and 
their ability to console the bereaved widow impressed 
Elizabeth Seton. They gingerly introduced her to the 
tenets of the Catholic faith. When Seton booked her 
passage back to the United States in 1804, she was on 
the brink of conversion. Back in New York, her rela- 
tives and friends, including her minister, Dr. Henry 
Hobart (who had also been her spiritual adviser), 
struggled mightily to dissuade her. One year later, 
however, Father Matthew O'Brien of St. Peter's 
Church, in New York City, received her into the 
Catholic Church. Her friends and family never forgave 
her, and she had no contact with them afterward. 

Anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States had 
deep roots by the early 19th century. Although histori- 



224 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



ans are unsure of the exact numbers, it is estimated 
that there were only about 25,000 Catholics out of a 
total population of about 2 million in the American 
colonies by the 1770s. Most Catholics were living in 
Maryland, which had been founded by the Catholic 
Calvert family. Anti-Catholic sentiment deepened in 
1774, when the British Parliament passed the Quebec 
Act proclaiming the Crown's toleration of the Catholic 
religion; the British had acquired the largely Catholic 
French Canada in 1763 after the Seven Years War 
(1756-63). New Englanders, especially, feared "pop- 
ery" in their neighbors to the north. Catholics in every 
colony — even Maryland — were disenfranchised; they 
could not vote or hold public office. When the war for 
independence erupted in 1775, anti-Catholicism had 
cooled somewhat as the colonists tried to enlist the 
help of Canadians in their cause. 

Given the prejudices that her chosen religion pro- 
voked, Seton feared for her livelihood. As most 
women in the early 1 9th century had few skills and 
little education, there were few opportunities for 
them to earn money, and widows generally were 
forced to rely on their families to support them until 
they could remarry. Seton had no such luxury. At 
first she could rely on Antonio Filicchi's generosity, 
which provided her with a way to pay for her and 
her children's living expenses. She nearly entered a 
convent, but she had young children to consider. 
Canada beckoned, but before she made a move in 
that direction, she received an invitation from a Bal- 
timore, Maryland, priest, Louis G. V. Dubourg, to 
establish a girls' school near a Baltimore college and 
seminary. With the guidance of John Carroll, the 
Baltimore bishop, she fulfilled a lifelong wish of 
founding a religious community. In 1809, she 
moved to Maryland, made her vows before the arch- 
bishop, and exchanged her everyday attire for a nun's 
habit. She adopted the rules of the Sisters of Charity 
of St. Vincent de Paul and formed the American Sis- 
ters of Charity of Emmitsburg, Maryland, and 
became Mother Seton. 

During her years at Emmitsburg, Seton developed 
the American parochial school system by training 
teachers, preparing textbooks for classroom use, and 
translating religious books from the French. She also 



wrote several religious treatises herself. Seton never 
ceased the charitable work for which she was known. 
Now, as the Mother Superior of her religious order, 
she combined nurturing the sick and destitute with 
converting supplicants to the Catholic faith. She 
focused much of her benevolent work upon African 
Americans. In 1814, she dispatched a group of sisters 
to Philadelphia and New York City, where they 
founded Catholic orphanages. Elizabeth Seton died 
of tubercolosis on January 4, 1821. 

The Catholic Church honored Mother Seton by 
declaring her venerable in 1959; four years later, Pope 
John XXIII (1881-1963) beatified her, and she was 
canonized, or declared a saint, in 1975. Her grand- 
son, Robert Seton, became an archbishop of 
Heliopolis. It is doubtful that Seton herself would 
have considered all of this very important. According 
to Professor of Religion Henry Warner Bowden, she 
considered herself "a simple atom, lost in the immen- 
sity of God's plan for his creatures." 

Further Reading 

McCann, Mary Agnes. The History of Mother Seton's Daugh- 
ters, the Sisters of Charity. New York: Longmans, 1917. 

Melville, Annabelle M. Elizabeth Bayley Seton. New York: 
Scribner, 1960. 

Power- Waters, Alma. Mother Seton and the Sisters of Char- 
ity. New York: Visions, 1957. 

Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. Rules and Regulations for 
the Order of Sisters of Charity of Pittsburgh and 
Allegheney, United States of America. Greensburg, Pa.: 
Benziger Bros., 1870. 



A SLESSOR, MARY (Mary Slessor of Calabar; 
Mary Mitchell Slessor) 

(1 848-1 915) Scottish missionary 

Mary Slessor, who once described herself as "wee, thin, 
and not very strong," worked as a missionary among 
the peoples of the Calabar region of West Africa, in 
what is today Nigeria. Instead of clinging to the soci- 
ety of other Europeans in Africa, as most 19th-century 
missionaries were expected to do, Slessor broke with 
her community and chose to live independently. 
Although her religious beliefs remained stalwart, 



225 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



Slessor's main function in Africa was not the conver- 
sion of souls to Christianity but the improvement of 
political, economic, and social relations among 
African peoples. 

Mary was born on December 2, 1848, the second 
of her family's seven children, in Gilcomston, a sub- 
urb of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her father, Robert 
Slessor, cobbled shoes, while her mother, wove tex- 
tiles in a local factory. An alcoholic, Robert Slessor 
soon could not support his family in the shoemaking 
trade, so the Slessors relocated to Dundee, where 
Mary began working in the mill. By the age of 14, 
she had become a skilled jute weaver. 

Missionary work had appealed to Mary since she 
was a young girl. She even integrated the practice of 
converting people into her play with other children. 
Once, she stood her ground against a group of thugs, 
one of whom swung a metal weight on a string 
increasingly closer to her face. Mary suggested that 
they place a little bet. She got the ruffians to agree 
that, if she did not blink, then they would have to 
join her Sunday School class. Mary won the bet. 

Despite the long and arduous 12 hours a day she 
spent working at the textile factory, Slessor still found 
time to volunteer as a teacher at a local mission 
school. When she turned 28, Slessor applied to the 
Foreign Mission Board of the United Presbyterian 
Church. The church accepted her as a missionary, 
and, after a brief period of training in Edinburgh, 
Mary sailed on the S.S. Ethiopia for the west coast of 
Africa in 1876. 

Calabar, the name of a town and port in southeast- 
ern Nigeria, lies along the Calabar River. The Efik 
branch of the Ibibio people settled the region in the 
early 17th century; later, the town developed as a cen- 
ter of exchange between white traders and Africans liv- 
ing farther inland. Calabar also served as a major 
slave-trading center until the mid- 19th century, when, 
after Great Britain abolished the practice in 1 807, the 
slave trade diminished. The slave trade had had a per- 
nicious effect on traditional African society, as the tribe 
lost control over the fate of its members. Missionaries 
arriving in the mid- 19th century witnessed the human 
sacrifice that routinely followed the death of a village 
dignitary; the ritual murder of twins, which the Ibibio 



considered a sign of bad luck, was commonplace. The 
church encouraged the local chiefs to pass a law in 
1850 prohibiting human sacrifice. Calabar was also a 
center for education in West Africa. The Reverend 
Hope Waddell of the Free Church of Scotland estab- 
lished the first missionary school in 1846. In 1884, 
local chiefs accepted British rule. 

When Slessor arrived in 1876, her first priority 
was to learn the Efik language, which she accom- 
plished with remarkable speed. She soon became the 
leading authority in the language among seasoned 
and new missionaries alike. After becoming thor- 
oughly immersed in Ibibio culture, and after only 
three years of teaching at the missionary school in 
Calabar, Slessor decided to travel further inland to 
explore other regions and make contact with other 
African peoples. As no other European missionaries 
were willing to join her expedition, Slessor journeyed 
alone and had few contacts with other Europeans, 
other than through written reports, during the rest of 
her life in Africa. She began working with the Okoy- 
ong, a little known people in the interior of the con- 
tinent, where few Europeans had traveled. The 
Okoyong were unaffected by the law prohibiting 
human sacrifice, or the ritual abandonment of twins. 
Slessor made it her goal to end the practices. She 
described her achievements in a report back to the 
missionary at Calabar: 

Of results as affecting the condition and conduct of 
our people [the Okoyong] generally, it is more easy 
to speak. Raiding, plunder — the stealing of slaves, 
have almost entirely ceased. Anyone from any place 
can come now for trade or pleasure, and wherever 
they choose, their persons and property being as 
safe as in Calabar. For fully a year we have heard of 
nothing of violence from even the most backward 
people. They have thanked me for restraining them 
in the past, she continued, and begged me to be 
their consul, as they neither wished black man nor 
white man to be their king. 

Slessor admitted that she made little headway in 
converting the Okoyong to Christianity, but she had 
made great strides toward ending practices that she 
saw as abhorrent. Slessor also successfully encouraged 



226 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



the Okoyong to trade with peoples living closer to 
the coast. In the same report to the Calabar mission, 
she continued: 

As their [the Okoyong] intercourse with the 
white men increased through trade or otherwise, 
they found that to submit to his authority did not 
mean loss of liberty but the opposite, and gradu- 
ally objections cleared away, till in 1854 they for- 
mally met bound themselves to some extent by 
treaty with the [British] Consul. Again, later, our 
considerate, patient, tactful Governor, Sir Claude 
Macdonald, met them, and at that interview the 
last objection was removed. . . . Since he has pro- 
claimed them a free people in every respect 
among neighbouring tribes, and so, placing them 
on their honor so to speak, has made out of the 
roughest material a lot of self-respecting men 
who conduct their business in a fashion from 
which Europeans might take lessons. 

She also left little doubt that she believed that the 
Okoyong needed guidance from the European. "Of 
course they [the Okoyong] need superintendence 
and watching, for their ideas are not nicely balanced 
as ours in regard to the shades and degrees of right 
and wrong, but as compared with their former ideas 
and practice they are far away ahead of what we 
expected." For her years of work among the Okoy- 
ong, British colonial authorities invested Slessor with 
the powers of a magistrate. 

Many 19th-century missionaries left Africa after 
only a few years in residence, often for health reasons. 
Malaria and smallpox took the lives of many. In the 
early years of the 20th century, some remedies and pre- 
cautions against mosquito-borne disease were becom- 
ing available, and Mary provided vaccination against 
smallpox and set up mission hospitals for treating ill- 
nesses and injuries suffered by Africans and Europeans 
alike. By 1915, however, Slessor's own physical strength 
had greatly declined, and on January 13, 1915, after a 
prolonged bout of fever, she died in Africa. 

Further Reading 

Benge, Janet. Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar. Seattle: 
YWAM Publishers, 1999. Young Adult. 



Livingstone, W. P. Mary Slessor of Calabar, Pioneer Mission- 
ary. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1916. 

Rix, M. Bright. Mary and the Black Warriors. New York: 
Friendship Press, 1938. 



& STEIN, EDITH 

(1891-1 942) German Carmelite nun 
and philosopher 

Jewish by birth, Catholic nun Edith Stein died at the 
hands of Nazi officials in the gas chambers of 
Auschwitz. As Stein and her sister Rosa Stein entered 
the chamber, Stein is said to have uttered the words, 
"Come, we are going for our people." (Others claim 
that Stein spoke the words as she and her sister were 
arrested and sent to the concentration camp.) Those 
who survived the death camps, and Stein's contempo- 
raries in the Catholic Church, have interpreted her 
words in different ways, which led to a controversy in 
how Edith Stein is remembered. The Catholic 
Church beatified her as a Catholic martyr in 1987, 
an act which disturbed many Jews, who understood 
her final words to mean that she had reconciled with 
the religion of her birth. Pope John Paul II declared 
her a saint in 1998. 

A philosopher and religious leader, Edith Stein 
wrote books in which she attempted to reconcile 
her philosophical understanding of phenomenology 
with the Christian writings of St. Thomas Aquinas 
(1226-74). Phenomenology is a philosophical perspec- 
tive in which material objects are viewed as objects of 
perception rather than as existing independently of 
human consciousness. St. Thomas Aquinas, a Domini- 
can monk, helped establish scholasticism in Europe, a 
method of integrating Christian teachings with the pre- 
Christian philosophy of Aristotle. Aquinas used logic to 
try to solve problems relating to science and faith; in 
1879, the Catholic Church declared his works to be the 
basis of Catholicism. 

Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891, the 
youngest of 1 1 children of devout Orthodox Jewish 
parents in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland); 
her father was a lumber merchant originally from 
Silesia (now part of Poland). Stein's father died when 
she was a year old, leaving her mother, Auguste Stein, 



227 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



to resurrect a debt-ridden business and raise her sur- 
viving six children. Edith Stein, something of a child 
prodigy, began school at the Victorian School at a 
young age and advanced quickly through the grades. 
She read avidly at school and at home. 

At the age of 13, Stein renounced her parents' 
faith and became an atheist (although she did not 
reveal her change of heart to her mother). Thinking 
that her youngest daughter might be ill, Auguste 
Stein sent Edith to live with her older married sister 
in Hamburg, Germany. During the eight months she 
spent there, Stein realized that, although she no 
longer believed in God, she did seek a higher sense of 
truth about her existence and about the nature of 
humanity in general. She hoped that furthering her 
education would help her find some answers. She 
returned to the Victorian School and began prepar- 
ing for the university. 

In 1911, Stein began attending classes at the Uni- 
versity of Breslau. Hoping to gain greater insight into 
the human mind and spirit, she enrolled in a psy- 
chology class, but the course did not convince her 
that the mind could be quantified or measured. Stein 
realized that she sought wisdom, which she did not 
think science would help her attain. Instead, she 
turned to the philosophical works of Edmund 
Husserl (1859-1938), including Logical Investiga- 
tion. So impressed was she that she transferred to the 
University of Gottingen, where Husserl taught phi- 
losophy (she became one of the first women to study 
there). Graduate students at Gottingen — including 
Max Scheler, who was also of Jewish birth — intro- 
duced her to the Catholic Christian faith. Stein 
attended Scheler's lectures on religious philosophy 
and learned the tenets of Christianity. Impressed by 
her papers, Husserl invited Stein to join him at his 
new post at the University of Freiburg. Stein's disser- 
tation, "The Problem of Empathy," was so well 
received that Freiburg offered her a position as lec- 
turer in 1916. She soon became one of the top pro- 
fessors in the department. 

But the end of the World War I brought bad 
news: one of her friends and colleagues, Adolf 
Reinach, a phenomenologist and a Jewish convert to 
Catholicism, had died in battle at Flanders. His 



widow asked Stein to compile the papers he had left 
into a manuscript. What Stein read in her friend's 
papers convinced her of the divinity of Jesus Christ. 
The following summer, after reading TERESA OF 
AVILA's autobiography, The Life of St. Teresa ofAvila, 
in one night, she prepared herself for conversion. 

Auguste Stein found her daughter's conversion 
deeply troubling. Not wishing to upset her mother 
more, Edith waited to join a religious order and spent 
the next several years teaching at a Dominican nuns' 
school for girls in Speyer. She kept up with her aca- 
demic work by translating St. Thomas Aquinas's 
Latin works into German. 

By the early 1930s, however, educators in Germany 
were becoming increasingly anti-Semitic. When she 
reapplied to her former position at Freiburg, her over- 
tures were rejected. Soon after she finally found a posi- 
tion at the Educational Institute in Munster, Hitler 
came to power, and Stein and other Jewish educators 
lost their jobs. In 1933, the Carmelite convent in Koln 
accepted her into its order. Her superiors there encour- 
aged the continuation of her scholarship, and Stein 
began work on Endliches und ewiges Sein (the finality 
and eternity of being), a study of Husserl's and 
Aquinas's thought. Meanwhile, recognizing what lay 
ahead for Jews, Stein sent Pope Pius XI (1857-1939) a 
request for an encyclical in defense of the Jews. The 
Pope did not respond. 

Before she finished her book, the horrors of 
Kristallnacht, the November night in 1938 when 
Nazis terrorized Jews, swept across Germany. Not 
wanting to bring harm to herself or her convent, 
Edith Stein left Koln for Echt, Holland, where her 
sister Rosa, who had also converted to Catholicism, 
joined her. Stein continued to work on Endliches und 
ewiges Sein, but knew that, as a former Jew, her book 
would not be published in the current circumstances. 
"I think," she said to her friend and later biographer 
Waltraud Herbstrith, "it will be a posthumous 
work." Edith Stein prepared for the worst. 

In July 1 942, a letter of protest against the perse- 
cution of the Jews, written by a group of Catholic 
bishops, was read aloud in Dutch churches. Mean- 
while, Stein urgently applied for a visa so that she 
could transfer to a Swiss convent, but since similar 



228 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



arrangements could not be made for Rosa, she did 
not leave. Then, on August 2, 1942, in retaliation 
for the letter of protest, SS troops arrested Stein and 
other Catholic Jews. The two women traveled to 
Amersfoort, and then Auschwitz, where they became 
victims of the gas chambers. 

Further Reading 

Brenner, Rachel Feldhay. Writing As Resistance: Four 
Women Confronting the Holocaust: Edith Stein, Simone 
Weil, Anne Frank, Etty Hillesum. University Park, Pa.: 
Pennsylvania University Press, 1997. 

Herbstrith, Waltraud. Edith Stein: A Biography. New York: 
Harper & Row, 1985. 

. Never Forget: Christian and Jewish Perspectives on 

Edith Stein. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1998. 

Stein, Edith. On Fhe Problem of Empathy, trans. Waltraut 
Stein. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1970. 



A TERESA OF AVILA (Teresa de Ahumada; 
Saint Teresa of Jesus) 

(151 5-1 582) Spanish Carmelite abbess 
and writer 

Teresa of Avila's historical significance is twofold: first, 
she wrote books that are considered religious classics, 
and second, she established a new order of nuns known 
as the Discalced order of Carmelite nuns. Teresa thus 
combined great spiritual works with practical reforms 
to help remake the church in the 16th century. In 
1562, she founded her first monastery, St. Joseph, in 
Avila, a Castilean community located in central Spain. 
In the same year, she completed her first book, Libro de 
la Vida (Book of Life). During the next 20 years, she 
traveled throughout Spain, establishing numerous 
reformed monasteries for both nuns and friars (male 
members of Catholic orders of the Franciscans, Augus- 
tinians, Dominicans, and Carmelites). During her trav- 
els, she dispensed spiritual guidelines for monastery 
inhabitants, which she then recorded in three other 
books: Camino de perfeccion (Way of Perfection), 1566; 
Castillo interior (Castle Interiors), 1580; and Las Fun- 
daciones (Foundations), 1582. 

The Inquisition (c. 1200-1700) formed the back- 
drop of Teresa of Avila's life and work. The Catholic 



Church borrowed a judicial technique — questioning 
the accused until a confession is procured — to root 
out heresy, sorcery, witchcraft, and alchemy through- 
out Europe. After the Catholic Church had consoli- 
dated its power during the Middle Ages and early 
modern period (500-1500), it viewed heretics as 
threats against its power. Pope Gregory IX 
(1170-1241) assigned church officials to the task of 
inquiring into heresy in specific areas. Those accused 
of heresy were questioned and granted the opportu- 
nity to confess their crimes; if no admission of guilt 
came forth, inquisitors ordered torture. Guilty 
heretics could be sentenced to prison; condemned 
heretics refusing to recant were turned over to secular 
authorities for punishment, including the death 
penalty (see JOAN OF ARC). In Spain, Ferdinand and 
ISABELLA I used the Inquisition to force political and 
religious unity by deporting Jewish people; even Jews 
who were conversos (Christian converts) had to leave 
the country. In 1485, the Tribunal of the Inquisition 
offered a pardon to all those who confessed their 
"secret" Jewish practices; Teresa of Avila's grandfather, 
Juan Sanchez de Cepeda, and his son Alonso (Teresa's 
father, a wealthy man who had married into nobility) 
were Jewish converts who had reverted to their Jewish 
customs. In an auto-da-fe (act of faith) in 1485, the 
two men were "reconciled" to the Catholic Church 
by proceeding barefoot through the streets of Toledo 
wearing the sambenitos (yellow robes) symbolizing 
their rapprochement. Afterward, the sambenitos 
were displayed in parish churches. The Inquisition 
made religion a politicized, public matter. Teresa of 
Avila's reforms, however, made religion a private, 
spiritual, detached-from-the-world relationship 
between humans and God. 

Born on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain, Teresa's 
calling to the faith occurred early in her life. She was 
one of 1 children of her father's second wife, Teresa 
de Cepeda y Ahumada. In 1535, Teresa entered the 
Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation, in Avila. 
Two years later, she took her vows and became Teresa 
of Jesus. 

The Carmelite ideal was to live a completely clois- 
tered, or isolated, existence devoting oneself to prayer 
and contemplation. The ideal had been compromised 



229 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



in the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation, 
because of its growth, and because of the numbers of 
visitors the monastery received. Teresa herself left the 
Incarnation three times; she returned home to recover 
from an illness, to nurse her father before his death, 
and to make a pilgrimage to a Spanish shrine. 

As a young adult, Teresa began having visions and 
revelations. During one revelation, God exhorted her 
to reform the Carmelite order, which had lost some 
of its early zeal. During the late Middle Ages (c. 14th 
century), convents began losing the financial support 
of the Catholic hierarchy that they had previously 
enjoyed, as universities began to supplant monaster- 
ies as places of learning (women were excluded from 
universities). Reformers thus attempted to reinvigo- 
rate convent life. Teresa founded a reformed house of 
Carmelite in 1562, called the "Discalced," or 
unshod, order, so called because the nuns adopted 
coarse clothing and sandals to wear, instead of shoes. 
At first, Teresa's confessor and her other advisers had 
encouraged her in her plan to establish the new order, 
but when the townsfolk caught wind of the change, a 
public outcry erupted against her. The opposition to 
the establishment of a new convent stemmed prima- 
rily from Teresa's intention to operate the convent in 
complete poverty. City fathers complained that exist- 
ing orders, too, were impoverished; the city could not 
stand the strain on its resources. Teresa's biographers 
contend that the objection put forth by the city offi- 
cials masked their true fears; namely, that the 
reformed convent would be run separately, beyond 
the city's control. 

However, six months later, a new confessor, 
Father Alvarez, lent his support, and Teresa and her 
sister, Juana, and her brother-in-law, Juan de 
Ovalle, purchased a home in Avila to begin the life 
of the new order. Teresa continued to establish other 
reformed houses throughout Spain. Finally, in 
1580, Pope Gregory XIII recognized the Discalced 
Reform as a separate order. 

Teresa of Avila began writing books as a way of 
guiding her nuns in the spiritual life. She is best 
known for uniting the contemplative life, a monastic 
tradition, and the active life (for Teresa, this meant 
traveling throughout Spain and establishing new 



convents). She insisted upon three prerequisites for a 
fulfilling Christian spiritual life. First, one must 
establish a love for God and for other Christians. At 
the same time, however, one must remain emotion- 
ally detached from human beings, in order to be able 
to devote one's life wholly to God. Third, a Christian 
must emulate true Christian humility. Teresa 
described an observable path taken by Christians 
from conversion to Christianity, to death and salva- 
tion, but she recognized that each individual's path 
may differ from that taken by other believers, since, 
she argued, God leads each person differently. 

Teresa, like other mystics in her time (see 
HADEWIJCH OF ANTWERP and HILDEGARD VON 
BINGEN), conceived of Christ as a bridegroom. One's 
spiritual journey, then, is really the progression that 
one makes before finally achieving a spiritual mar- 
riage with God. Her book Castillo interior traces the 
spiritual journey toward communion with God. 
Teresa used the idea of a multiroom castle as a 
metaphor for the journey one takes during one's spir- 
itual life. Some of the rooms in the castle present the 
believer with obstacles that can only be overcome by 
active love, and not by mystical powers. Teresa 
warned her nuns that visions and revelations did not 
constitute a special relationship with God; such a 
relationship could only be achieved through embark- 
ing on a spiritual journey. 

When Teresa died in Alba on October 4, 1582, 
inquisitors were examining The Book of Life for possi- 
ble heretical opinions. Literature examined during 
the Inquisition would often be passed from one 
inquisitor to another, resulting in a wider circulation 
than the book might otherwise have enjoyed. Teresa 
of Avila was canonized in 1622. 

Further Reading 

Lincoln, Victoria. Teresa, a Woman: A Biography of Teresa of 

Avila. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1984. 
Medwick, Cathleen. Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul. 

New York: Knopf, 1999. 
Slade, Carole. St. Teresa of Avila: Author of a Heroic Life. 

Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. 
Weber, Alison. Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Pemininity. 

Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990. 



230 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



A TERESA, MOTHER (Agnes Gonxha 
Bojaxhiu) 

(1910-1997) Albanian/Indian religious 
leader and missionary 

Mother Teresa was the founder and leader of the 
Order of the Missionaries of Charity in India from 
1950 until her death in 1997. The primary task of 
the Order of the Missionaries of Charity is to love 
and care for those persons for whom others are 
unwilling to assume care. Today the order includes 
more than 1,000 men and women in India, many of 
whom work as doctors, nurses, and social workers. 
The order has also undertaken relief work in African, 
Latin American, and Asian nations, as well as out- 
posts in Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, and the United 
States. During her life, Mother Teresa operated some 



50 relief projects, including work among slum- 
dwellers, AIDS and leprosy victims, and undernour- 
ished children. She was awarded the Nobel Peace 
Prize in 1979. 

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu 
in Skopje, in what is now Macedonia, on August 
26, 1910. Her father was a grocer, and her mother, 
Drana, kept house and looked after Agnes, her sister, 
and her brother. Her family is of Albanian origin but 
practiced the Catholic religion, instead of Islam, the 
religion of most Albanian people. Agnes's father 
traveled a great deal, was multilingual, and a mem- 
ber of the community council. He died suddenly in 
1919, leaving the family dependent upon Drana's 
work as a seamstress. A devout Catholic, Drana 
Bojaxhiu educated her children in the Catholic faith 
and in charitable activities. 




Mother Teresa of India receiving the Medal of Freedom in Washington, D.C., at the White House. 

Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library. 



231 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



A wealthy widow offered the children money for 
their formal education. Agnes went to an elementary 
school and later became a member of a sodality, or 
charitable society, sponsored by the Catholic church. 
By the time she was a teenager, Agnes knew she 
wanted to become a missionary. Several of her older 
colleagues in the sodality who had gone to Bengal, a 
region in eastern India, to help the poor had sent let- 
ters back to Skopje, encouraging others to come to 
Bengal. Agnes sent a letter of inquiry to the Loretto 
community in Ireland whose main missionary work 
took place in Bengal. The community welcomed her 
application, and Agnes left for Dublin, Ireland, in 
1928. There she learned English, the primary lan- 
guage spoken in India. From there, she traveled to 
Darjeeling, India, to live in a novitiate, or a house 
provided for nuns who had been accepted into an 
order, but who had not yet taken the final vows. 

Initially, Darjeeling, located at the foot of the 
Himalayas, disappointed Agnes. She had expected to 
see poverty but saw none at the novitiate. She accom- 
plished her goal there, however, which was to take 
instruction in the monastic life of the Catholic reli- 
gion. She took initial vows as a Loretto sister in 1931, 
changing her name to Teresa, which she chose in 
honor of the patroness of the missionaries, St. Teresa 
of Lesieux. 

After she completed her final vows in 1937, Sister 
Teresa faced more disappointment. This time, her 
church sent her to teach high school at Entally, Cal- 
cutta. The school was for daughters of wealthy Euro- 
pean and Indian people, not the poor people for 
whom Sister Teresa desired to work. Nevertheless, her 
work pleased her superiors, and presumably her stu- 
dents, and Sister Teresa became principal of the school. 

In September 1946, Sister Teresa took what she 
would later describe as "the most important journey 
of my life." During a train trip back to Darjeeling, 
where she had planned a retreat, the voice of God 
spoke to her, telling her to leave her convent to live 
among the poor and to minister to them directly. Sis- 
ter Teresa heeded the call and obtained permission 
from the Order of Loretto to live outside the com- 
munity. Wanting to truly become part of the poor 
people with whom she wanted to live, she wrote a let- 



ter to Rome, asking for permission to discard her 
nun's habit in favor of an Indian sari, or wrapped 
dress. Permission received, Sister Teresa spent the 
next three months studying nursing with the Ameri- 
can Medical Missionary Sisters. There, she decided to 
pursue her own order of sisters, a group of nuns who 
would eat, dress, and live like the poorest of India's 
poor. In December 1948, she returned to Calcutta. 

Britain had granted India, its former colony, full 
independence in 1947, but the newly independent 
nation was rocked immediately by clashes between 
Hindus and Muslims. The rift between the Muslim 
League (see Fatima JINNAH) and the Hindu-domi- 
nated Congress intensified with the Muslim League's 
demand for an autonomous state in Pakistan. At mid- 
night on August 15,1 947, India and Pakistan became 
separate and sovereign nations. Estimates place the 
death toll resulting from violence over the partitioning 
at more than 500,000. The worlds most populous 
democracy, Indian society has been rocked by various 
religious clashes, mostly between Hindus and Mus- 
lims, which often turn violent. Today 80 percent of 
Indians are Hindu, a religion known in the West for its 
hierarchy of social castes: the Brahman, or priestly 
class; the Kshatriya, or nobility; the Vaisya, traders and 
farmers; and the Sudra, or servant class. One is born 
into one's caste: discrimination based upon caste is 
now illegal, but Indians acknowledge that it occurs 
nevertheless. Much of India's fast-growing population 
is impoverished, with 36 percent of the population liv- 
ing below the national poverty line in 1994. 

Sister Teresa believed that it was up to the church 
to offset the extreme poverty existing in India, and 
she became convinced that only through hands-on 
work could the poverty be alleviated. In October 
1950, Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) gave his approval 
and the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity 
was born. Sister Teresa, the founder, became Mother 
Teresa. In 1963, the Missionary of Brothers of Char- 
ity was founded. 

In 1964, Pope Paul VI gave Mother Teresa a lim- 
ousine that had been donated by an American 
Catholic group for use by the pope at the Eucharistic 
Congress in Bombay, India. After the congress, the 
pope presented it to Mother Teresa, who arranged a 



232 



RELIGIOUS LEADERS 



raffle for the car. The raffle netted $64,000, money 
that Mother Teresa used to open a home for lepers. 

The work of Mother Teresa and her community 
soon became known throughout the world. Several 
world leaders have bestowed honors upon her, 
including the John F. Kennedy International Award, 
the Jawaharlal Nehru Award, the Templeton Award 
for Progress in Religion, and the Nobel Peace Prize. 
She died on September 5, 1997. 

Biographers who interviewed Mother Teresa were 
continually struck by her reticence to share information 



about her own life. She often answered personal ques- 
tions briefly, and then changed the subject to her work 
instead. "The remarkable thing about Mother Teresa," 
stated one biographer, "was that she was ordinary." 

Further Reading 

Egan, Eileen. Such a Vision of the Street: Mother Teresa — the 
Spirit and the Work. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 
1985. 

Le Joly, Edward. Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Biography. San 
Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985. 



233 



9 



Rulers 



RULERS 



A AQUINO, CORAZON (Corazon 
Cojuangco Aquino; Cory Aquino) 

(1933- ) Philippine politician 

Corazon Aquino led a democratic revolution in the 
Philippines, in opposition to the dictatorship of Fer- 
dinand Marcos (1917-89). After upsetting Marcos in 
1986, Corazon Aquino was elected the first woman 
president of the Philippines. By creating and institut- 
ing a new constitution, Aquino ended the long 
period of dictatorship in the island nation, but her 
government was unable to effect other social changes. 

The story of Mrs. Aquino's rise to power is a com- 
plicated one, involving the history of the Philippines, a 
nation of 54 million people living on 7,000 islands in 
the Pacific Ocean, and Aquino's own past. Like many 
female politicians, Corazon Aquino became involved 
in politics after her husband, Benigno (Ninoy) Simeon 
Aquino, died in 1983. Both husband and wife 
opposed the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, president 
and dictator who — with help from his wife Imelda 
MARCOS — controlled the armed forces, national 
finances, and the press. For the duration of his rule, his 
opposition floundered, weak and divided. 

Corazon Cojuangco was born in Manila on Janu- 
ary 25, 1933. The Aquinos married in 1954, after 
Corazon finished her education at Mount St. Vincent 
College in New York City, with degrees in French 
and mathematics. Benigno Aquino entered politics 
after their marriage, becoming the youngest mayor, 
governor, and senator to serve in the Philippines. In 
1968 he became the national leader of the Liberal 
Party. During his term in the Senate, Benigno 
Aquino opposed the rule of President Marcos, who 
had been elected in 1965, and his Nationalist Party 
supporters. In addition to the intense rivalry between 
these two politicians, the Philippines was rocked by 
violence between Muslim and Christians, by student 
activism on campuses instigated primarily by a grow- 
ing Communist Party, and by a widening gap 
between the rich and the poor. In an attempt to quiet 
opposition, Marcos declared martial law in 1972 and 
had Benigno Aquino arrested and imprisoned. Upon 
his release eight years later, the Aquinos fled to 
Boston. In 1983, Benigno Aquino returned to the 



Philippines, in order to support the opponents of 
Marcos. He was assassinated at the airport in the cap- 
ital city of Manila. 

Corazon Aquino flew immediately to Manila to 
arrange his funeral and to continue his work in the next 
legislative election. Meanwhile, a group of Catholic 
business leaders and intellectuals gathered to find an 
opponent to Ferdinand Marcos in the next presidential 
election. Their choice: Corazon Aquino. This group of 
conservative reformers knew that Cory Aquino was the 
only Marcos opponent with wide appeal. As the widow 
of a political hero, and as a mother and a Catholic, she 
had a certain moral authority and personal integrity. 
She had close ties to the United States, a nation that still 
maintained a military base in the Philippines. Finally, 
because she was a woman, it was assumed that she 
lacked personal ambition. 

But Aquino did not lack ambition. In fact, she 
intended to lead a people's revolution in the Philip- 
pines, in which conservative reforms would help 
strengthen democracy. However, first she had to win 
the election. 

Most Filipinos knew that much of the voting 
would not be legitimate, and they were right. Ferdi- 
nand Marcos, in ill health, declared himself the victor 
despite Corazon Aquino's obvious immense popular- 
ity with the people. Upon Marcos's inauguration on 
February 25, 1986, the people reacted by taking to 
the streets, declaring a People's Power Revolution. 
When the military threw its support to Aquino, Fer- 
dinand Marcos fled to Hawaii, where he remained 
until his death in 1989. 

Corazon Aquino formally assumed the presidency 
in 1986. Her goals were to restore democracy and 
free enterprise to the Philippines. To accomplish this, 
she replaced Marcos's appointees with popularly 
elected officials, put an end to martial law, and insti- 
tuted a new constitution. The new constitution, 
which reaffirmed many of the principles of the 
Philippines' first constitution written in 1935, was 
aimed at avoiding another Marcos. It limited the 
presidency to one six-year term and restricted the 
president's powers to overrule Congress and impose 
martial law. The new constitution was Aquino's 
biggest accomplishment. 



236 



RULERS 



Aquino's administration made other changes, too. 
The Communist Party no longer posed a threat to 
the government, and human rights abuses by the mil- 
itary and police declined. Yet Aquino barely survived 
six military coups — attempts to take down her presi- 
dency. And despite human rights gains, in other 
respects her term failed to effect any real change. 

When Corazon Aquino left the presidency in 
1992, the Philippines remained what it had been for 
generations: a turbulent nation, weakly governed. The 
enormous problem of poverty, rooted, in part, in the 
extreme disparity between the wealthy and the poor, 
did not end during the Aquino presidency. The need 
for land reforms went unheeded. Lack of educational 
and economic opportunities also made poverty and 
social injustices worse throughout the Philippines. 

Sadly, the high hopes of the People's Power Revo- 
lution did not continue under President Corazon 
Aquino. But Aquino did insure that military dicta- 
torships in the Philippines could be successfully 
opposed, and defeated. 

Further Reading 

Crisostomo, Isabelo T. Cory — Profile of a President. Brook- 
line Village, Mass.: Branden, 1987. 

Reid, Robert H., and Eileen Guerrero. Corazon Aquino 
and the Brushfire Revolution. Baton Rouge and London: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1995- 

Yap, Miguela G. The Making of Cory. Quezon City, Philip- 
pines: New Day Press, 1987. 



A BANDARANAIKE,SIRIMAVO (Sirimavo 
Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike) 

(191 6-2000) Sri Lankan prime minister 

Bandaranaike became the first female prime minister 
in the world in 1960. Like Benazir BHUTTO, Sirimavo 
Bandaranaike began her political career by leading an 
insurgent political party after the government in power 
assassinated a close relative (in Bandaranaike's case, her 
husband). Bandaranaike and her political party, the Sri 
Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP), pushed for more dem- 
ocratic freedoms for Sri Lankans, paired with socialis- 
tic programs of government ownership of industries 
and services. During her term, Sri Lanka rejected its 



colonial past and became a nation with a new name 
and a new political identity. 

Sri Lanka, an island nation located off the southern 
tip of the Indian subcontinent, had been a British 
crown colony called Ceylon since 1802. Its two largest 
ethnic groups are the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil, 
who have ties to groups living in southern India. Cey- 
lon became an independent dominion and member of 
the British Commonwealth in 1948, with a parliamen- 
tary system modeled after that of Great Britain, headed 
by a prime minister. The first prime minister, Don 
Stephen Senanayake (1884-1952), formed the United 
National Party (UNP), which favored private enter- 
prise and close ties to Great Britain. 

In 1951, Sirimavo Bandaranaike's husband, 
Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (1910-59), 
who had been a local government official, formed the 
SLFP, which championed traditional culture and the 
eradication of Western influences. The 1956 elections 
swept the SLFP into power, with Solomon Ban- 
daranaike becoming prime minister. He replaced Eng- 
lish with Sinhala as the official language; he terminated 
the British military presence on the island; and he 
declared Ceylon to be neutral in the global power 
struggle between communist and capitalist nations. 

Meanwhile, Sirimavo Bandaranaike (unlike 
Benazir Bhutto) was at home raising her children and 
avoiding direct political involvement, although she 
joined a women's organization that favored education 
for women and family planning measures. Sirimavo 
had been born on April 17, 1916, in Ratnapura, 
Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to Barnes Ratwatte Dissawa 
and Mahawalatenna Kumarihamy, an aristocratic 
Kandyan family, rulers of the ancient mountain king- 
dom of Kandy on the island. She had been educated 
at a Roman Catholic convent, St. Bridget's, in the 
capital city of Colombo, although she remained a 
practicing Buddhist. She married Solomon Ban- 
daranaike in 1940. 

When Solomon Bandaranaike declared Sinhala the 
national language, the policy enraged the Tamils, and 
tensions between the two ethnic groups increased. 
Compromises enabled the Tamils to retain their lan- 
guage in areas in the north and east of the island, 
where they formed a majority. However, this move 



237 



RULERS 



further alienated the Sinhalese, and in 1959, a Sin- 
halese Buddhist priest who opposed his advocacy of 
Western medicine murdered Solomon Bandaranaike. 
The SLFP named his widow as its new leader. Elec- 
tions were held in July 1960, and the fruit of Siri- 
mavo's leadership in the SLFP bore seed; the party 
won a majority in Parliament, and Bandaranaike 
became the first woman prime minister in the world. 

Bandaranaike's successes came mostly in the area of 
foreign affairs. She continued the policy of neutrality 
outlined by her predecessor. She mediated an end to 
the India/ China border conflict of 1962, in which 
China invaded India and occupied its northeast 
provinces. Bandaranaike is also credited with working 
out a solution with Indian prime minister Lai Bahadur 
Shastri (1904-66) regarding the political status of 
Indian-born plantation workers in Ceylon, most of 
whom had been disenfranchised after Ceylon's inde- 
pendence from Britain. The Sirimavo-Shastri Pact 
(1964) conferred either Ceylonese or Indian citizen- 
ship on workers, on a proportionate basis. 

Bandaranaike's economic policy called for the 
nationalization of the American and British oil com- 
panies operating in Ceylon. She also nationalized 
Ceylon's banking system. In other areas of Ceylonese 
life, however, she went too far. The Press Bill, which 
enabled the government to take over control of the 
independent media, alienated many members of the 
SLFP, who bolted and sided with the opposition 
UNP. Bandaranaike's government fell, and in the 
1965 elections she lost her position. 

She retained her leadership within the SLFP, how- 
ever, and in 1970, she regained the position of prime 
minister. She created a new republican constitution, 
and in 1972, Ceylon reacquired its ancient name, 
becoming the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (the 
name means resplendent land). In addition to the 
new constitution, Bandaranaike implemented other 
socialist measures, such as the nationalization of tea 
plantations, and restricted the amount of land that 
could be held under private ownership. 

In 1977, the SLFP lost control of Parliament again, 
and opposition leader J. R. Jayawardene became the 
new prime minister. He set up a commission to inves- 
tigate charges of nepotism against Sirimavo Ban- 



daranaike when she was prime minister. She had 
named herself minister of planning and economic 
affairs, and of defense and external affairs. Her 
nephew, sons, and daughter also held government 
posts during her term. As a result of the inquiry, Ban- 
daranaike lost her civic rights for seven years. Mean- 
while, Prime Minister Jayawardene had amended the 
constitution to create the new, more powerful office of 
president, to which he was elected. President Jayawar- 
dene pardoned Bandaranaike in 1986. In 1994, her 
daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunge (1945- ) was 
elected president, and she appointed her mother 
prime minister. 

The two women squabbled behind the scenes of 
government. When Sri Lanka hosted an appearance 
by the U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, 
Kumaratunge purposely left Bandaranaike out of the 
formal reception. Kumaratunge also moved the 
island toward privatization, rejecting the policies 
instituted by her mother. Sirimavo Bandaranaike 
died on October 10, 2000, at Colombo, Sri Lanka, 
moments after casting her vote in the 2000 parlia- 
mentary elections. She was 84. 

Further Reading 

Gooneratne, Yasmine. Relative Merits: A Personal Memoir 
of the Bandaranaike Family of Sri Lanka. New York: St. 
Martin's Press, 1986. 

Mukerji, K. P. Madame Prime Minister: Sirimavo Ban- 
daranaike. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Hansa Publishers in 
association with Laklooms, 1960. 

Seneviratne, Maureen. Sirimavo Bandaranaike: The World's 
First Woman Prime Minister, A Biography. Colombo, Sri 
Lanka: Hansa Publishers in association with Laklooms, 
1975. 



& BEAUFORT, MARGARET (Lady Margaret 
Beaufort) 

(1443-1509) English patron of scholarship 

The mother of King Henry VII (1457-1509), Mar- 
garet Beaufort, countess of Richmond, used her posi- 
tion to practice and influence religious scholarship in 
England. She translated several devotional books and 
encouraged the new printing presses of De Worde and 



238 



RULERS 



Caxton. In 1501, she instituted two new professorships 
of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge, and completed 
the endowment of Christ's College at Cambridge. In 
1504, she separated from her fourth husband, taking 
monastic vows (although she continued to live in her 
sumptuous palace at Woking). She left most of her for- 
tune to the endowment of St. John's College. 

Born on May 31, 1443, the daughter of John 
Beaufort, first duke of Somerset and great grandson 
of King Edward III (1312-77), Margaret Beaufort 
was carefully educated by her mother, Margaret St. 
John Beaufort, after her father's death in 1444. 
Rumors circulated that John Beaufort had died by his 
own hand, after disastrous military campaigns in 
France. Her mother remarried Lionel, Lord Welles, 
in 1447. Margaret had a claim to the throne as long 
as King Henry VI (1421—71) remained childless. The 
duke of Suffolk knew this and had Margaret Beaufort 
married at the age of seven to his son (only a year 
older than she) to intertwine his family with a con- 
tender to the throne. Under law, Margaret could 
refuse to ratify the union, which she ultimately did. 

When Margaret Beaufort turned 10, her mother 
was commanded to bring the girl to court. King 
Henry VI must have been suitably impressed, 
because he ordered that his "well-beloved cousin 
Margaret" be paid a hundred marks (66 pounds) for 
dresses, an allowance that was four times the income 
of a well-to-do squire. On May 12, 1453, the king 
gave her as a ward to his half-brother Edmund Tudor, 
commanding that he marry her. He did in 1455 but 
died a few months after the marriage. Margaret gave 
birth to their son, Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, in 
1457. Next, Margaret married Lord Henry Stafford, 
her cousin on both her father's and mother's side, 
who traced his descent from Henry III. Lord Stafford 
died in 1471, leaving Margaret Beaufort widowed 
once again. In 1472 — just shy of the year of mourn- 
ing required by English custom — Margaret married 
her fourth husband, Thomas, Lord Stanley; she was 
not yet 30. Lord Stanley was instrumental in bring- 
ing about an end to the War of the Roses. 

The War of the Roses (1455-85) was a civil war 
between two rival branches of the royal family, 
known as the House of York and the House of Lan- 



caster (York's family emblem was the white rose, 
while Lancaster's was the red rose). The Lancastrian 
monarch, Henry VI, was constantly challenged by 
the duke of York and his supporters in southern Eng- 
land. In 1461, Edward IV (1442-83), son of the 
duke of York, seized power. His brother and successor 
was Richard III (1452-85), whose reign saw the 
growth of support for the exiled Lancastrian Henry 
Tudor, Margaret Beaufort's son. Henry returned to 
England to defeat Richard on Bosworth Field in 
1485 (Lord Stanley and his brothers led the charge). 
Henry Tudor ruled as Henry VII, the first of the new 
Tudor dynasty that would remain until 1603. To end 
the fighting, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, 
daughter of Edward IV, uniting the two former 
opponents. His granddaughter was ELIZABETH I. 

Richard III had charged Margaret Beaufort with 
treason, but Parliament reversed the charge in 1485 
when her son Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII. 
Along with the reversal, Parliament declared Mar- 
garet Beaufort a "femme sole," giving her the right to 
hold property in her name and sue in the courts, 
regardless of her husband — no other married woman 
in England had that right. This gave her complete 
control of her estates and of her fortune. 

German printer Johannes Gutenberg (1400-68) 
invented the printing press in mid-century, making 
the written word more readily available to a more lit- 
erate population. In England, Margaret contributed 
to the growth of literacy by patronizing the English 
printer William Caxton (1422—91) (who also trans- 
lated and published the work of CHRISTINE DE PIZAN 
in English). Upon Caxton's death, Wynkyn de Worde 
(d. c. 1534) took over Caxton's business, printing sev- 
eral devotional books for Margaret, including one 
that she had translated from the French, The Mirroure 
ofGoldefor the sinful soule. Thereafter, de Worde pro- 
moted himself as "Printer unto the most excellent 
Princess My Lady the King's Mother." 

A vigorously religious woman, Margaret Beaufort 
took a vow of chastity in 1499, with her husband's 
consent. Her confessor, Cardinal Fisher, encouraged 
her rigorous fasting, her twice weekly confession, and 
the wearing of her hair shirt (a coarse cloth garment 
worn next to the skin as penance). Fisher also per- 



239 



RULERS 



suaded her to found and endow professorships at 
both Oxford and Cambridge between 1496 and 
1497 (the Lady Margaret professorships still exist 
today). Her fortune went toward the completion of 
the endowment of Christ's College, Cambridge 
(begun by Henry VII in 1505). She endowed Christ's 
College with a master, 12 fellows, and 47 scholars. 
Her will stipulated the endowment of St. John's Col- 
lege, Cambridge, with a master and 50 scholars. 

Margaret outlived her beloved son Henry VII. She 
watched the coronation of her grandson, Henry VIII 
and counseled his marriage to Catherine of Aragon 
(see ELIZABETH i). She died on June 29, 1509. 

Further Reading 

Jones, Michael K., and M. G. Underwood. The Kings 

Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond 

and Derby. New York: Cambridge, 1994. 
Seward, Desmond. The Wars of the Roses Through the Lives 

of Five Men and Women of the Fifteenth Century. New 

York: Viking, 1995. 
Simon, Linda. Of Virtue Rare: Margaret Beaufort, Matriarch 

of the House of Tudor. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. 



A BHUTTO, BENAZIR 

(1953— ) Pakistani prime minister 

Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's prime minister from 1988 
to 1990 and 1993 to 1996, is the first woman to head 
an Islamic state in modern times (see Sultana RAZIA for 
an example of a 13th-century Muslim ruler). Bhutto's 
father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-79) founded the 
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the 1950s and also 
served as prime minister from 1971 to 1977. The pres- 
ident of Pakistan at the time, General Mohammad Zia 
ul-Haq (1924-88) deposed and hanged Zulfikar Ali 
Bhutto in 1979. After her father's assassination, 
Benazir Bhutto took over the leadership position of the 
PPP and struggled to reinstate a democratic govern- 
ment in Pakistan. Bhutto illustrates the difficulty of 
maintaining an official state religion — Islam — while 
insisting on reinstituting the human rights that Mus- 
lim extremists have tried to eliminate. 

The nation of Pakistan emerged when India was 
partitioned amid conflicts between Hindus and Mus- 



lims in 1947. Since then, Pakistan's government has 
vacillated between the nationalization of its economy 
and free enterprise, and between a secular state and 
religious fundamentalism. President Zia instituted 
shari'a, or the Islamic code of law, in Pakistan in the 
1980s, including harsh punishments meted out for 
crimes. Theft, for example, resulted in the amputa- 
tion of the perpetrator's limb, and drinking alcohol 
brought 80 lashes with a whip. 

Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, in Karachi, 
Pakistan's largest city, and was educated at Radcliffe 
College in the United States. She attended graduate 
school at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. She 
became the first Asian woman elected to the Oxford 
Union, a prestigious debating society. Her focus of 
study was comparative politics, a fitting course for a 
woman planning a career as a foreign diplomat. 
While Benazir Bhutto was growing up, she and her 
family had always assumed that she would eventually 
work in her father's government. 

That dream ended when her father was executed. 
President Zia's government perceived a threat in Zul- 
fikar Ali Bhutto's widow and in his daughter, so 
Benazir and Begum Nusrat (1934- ) were placed 
under house arrest, and martial law was declared. 
Zia's actions only served to invigorate Benazir 
Bhutto's determination to redeem her father's legacy. 
In 1984, she underwent self-exile in Europe, where, 
like Cristina TRIVULZIO a century earlier, she began 
generating support for her cause by exposing the 
human rights abuses occurring in Zia's Pakistan. 

Encouraged by a national referendum that seemed 
to support his policies, Zia ended martial law in 
1985, and Bhutto returned to Pakistan a few months 
later. She took over the reins of leadership within the 
PPP, despite a continuing prohibition against any 
political party organization within Pakistan. Many 
within the PPP talked of mobilizing a violent over- 
throw of the Zia regime and instituting a call for new 
elections. Bhutto, however, counseled nonviolence, 
preferring to work through the political system 
instead of against it. Zia's restriction on political 
organizations, of course, made this difficult to do. 
Bhutto wanted to institute a representative govern- 
ment in Pakistan, not just more elections. In her 



240 



RULERS 



view, constituencies must have a voice in the every- 
day events of government, and not just at election 
time. Bhutto pushed the PPP to develop its own con- 
stituent base within Pakistani politics. 

In 1988, when President Zia died in a plane crash 
that was believed to have been caused by a bomb, 
Bhutto's work paid off. In elections held that year, the 
PPP won more seats in Parliament, although not a 
clear majority. Ghulam Ishaq Khan was appointed 
president (who serves as Pakistan's head of state) and 
Benazir Bhutto was elected prime minister (who 
leads Pakistan's government). 

Bhutto established a goal of reducing the aspects 
of shari'a that infringed upon basic human rights. 
She knew she must find a middle ground between 
religious reform and the secularization of a Muslim 
society. However, she could not afford to alienate the 
religious elements within Pakistan society that had 
ensured her victory. Human rights abuses also 
involved another segment of society upon which 
Bhutto had to tread lightly: the military that had also 
given its consent to her rule (according to The 
Toronto Sun reporter Eric Margolis, Pakistan's tough 
generals invariably referred to Bhutto as "that girl"). 
As a concession to the power of the military, Bhutto 
gave military personnel free rein to deal with the 
problems resulting from the war between the Soviet 
Union and Afghanistan (1979-89). The Soviets had 
invaded Afghanistan in an effort to save its commu- 
nist government. The war created some two or three 
million refugees, who flooded into Pakistan and 
requested shelter and aid. In the increasingly harsh 
economic climate Bhutto struggled mightily to keep 
religious and military elements satisfied. In the end, 
she was able to pass few of the reforms that she had 
hoped to institute. 

However, Bhutto succeeded in restoring funda- 
mental human rights in Pakistan. She released polit- 
ical prisoners, lifted the restrictions on the press, 
and reinstated the right to organize and assemble 
for political causes. Departing from her socialist 
father's policies, she argued for greater privatization 
of the economy. 

In August 1990, President Khan, with the support 
of the military, accused Bhutto of corruption and 



nepotism and dismissed her from office. He then dis- 
solved Parliament and declared a state of emergency. 
In October elections, Nawaz Sharif, leader of the 
Islamic Democratic Alliance, a coalition that included 
the fundamentalist Pakistan Muslim League, and an 
industrialist, became the next prime minister. 

Bhutto was reelected prime minister in 1993. 
However, in 1996, President Farooq Leghari accused 
her government of corruption, and she was again 
removed from office. Asif Ali Zadari, whom she had 
married in 1987, was imprisoned for allegedly arrang- 
ing the murder of Benazir's brother Murtaza. Mean- 
while, still convinced of her and her party's popularity, 
Benazir told reporters that election fraud explained the 
PPP's defeat. While the charge may be true, it seems 
that Bhutto's political fortunes depend on the religious 
climate in Pakistan as much as on the political climate. 
Bhutto is still young, however, and still ambitious: in 
the right climate, she could rise again. 

Further Reading 

Bhola, P. L. Benazir Bhutto: Opportunities and Challenges. 

New Delhi: Yuvraj Publishers and Distributors, 1989. 
Bhutto, Benazir. Daughter of the East. London: Hamilton, 

1989. 
Mumtaz, Khawar, and Farida Shaheed. Women of Pakistan: 

Two Steps Torward, One Step Back? Atlantic Highlands, 

N.J.: Zed Books, 1987. 



A BORGIA, LUCREZIA 

(1480-1519) Duchess of Ferrara 

Lucrezia Borgia belonged to one of the most power- 
ful and corrupt families in the Renaissance period of 
Italian history (I4th-16th centuries). A woman with 
a reputation as a nasty political schemer, Lucrezia 
Borgia, in reality, simply wanted to be left alone to 
pursue her true loves: art and literature. Borgia's life 
vacillated between the two major — but contradic- 
tory — thrusts of Italian Renaissance culture: political 
and religious corruption, and magnificent achieve- 
ments in art, literature, and science. Most women 
could not participate in the advances of the Renais- 
sance period, for European culture remained, in gen- 
eral, intensely patriarchal, as well as elitist. Borgia 



241 



RULERS 



illustrates the difficulty most women faced in exercis- 
ing their will in the face of male control. 

During the Renaissance, the nation we know 
today as Italy was still an amalgam of papal states, 
duchies, kingdoms, and republics. Each political unit 
had its urban center with surrounding productive 
farmland. Rivalries between heads of states intensi- 
fied when one prince or duke created an alliance with 
another ruler — sometimes a foreign ruler — in an 
effort to best his foes. Conflicts between ruling fami- 
lies at times ended in murder, a method of undercut- 
ting one's enemy not unfamiliar to the Borgia family. 

While political assassination ended the competi- 
tion between two rivals, new alliances were often cre- 
ated through marriage. By succumbing to the unions 
arranged by her father, Rodrigo Borgia (1430-1 503), 
Lucrezia Borgia became a pawn in her family's power 
politics. Rodrigo Borgia never considered who might 
make a good husband for his daughter; the question 
was irrelevant, as the purpose of the marriage was 
political, not economic, and certainly not romantic. 

Lucrezia Borgia's mother, Rodrigo's mistress 
Vanozza Catanei, was also the mother of her two 
brothers (Rodrigo Borgia was a Spanish cardinal in 
the Catholic Church and did not marry). Rodrigo 
Borgia's cousin, the widow Adriana DaMila, raised 
Borgia's children. Lucrezia, born on April 18, 1480, 
in Rome, lived in a palace in Rome and was educated 
at the convent of St. Sixtus. 

Rodrigo Borgia began using his daughter to create 
alliances when she was 1 1 years old. Rodrigo and his 
son, Cesare Borgia (1476-1507), arranged a mar- 
riage between Lucrezia and the lord of Val d'Argora 
of Valencia, Spain, across the Mediterranean Sea 
from Italy. No one knows why the contract that was 
drawn up between the two families was annulled two 
months later, but it seems clear that Rodrigo decided 
that an alliance with the 15-year-old Don Gaspare, 
son of Count Averse in the Kingdom of Naples, 
would better suit his needs. But this contract was also 
annulled when Rodrigo got a better offer from the 
Sforza family of Milan. 

Giovanni Sforza, lord of Pesaro, a small, insignifi- 
cant fishing village along the Adriatic Sea, was 27 at 
the time. Because his holdings were paltry, he stood 



to gain by the marriage. The Borgias hoped to 
increase their influence by building a relationship 
with the growing power of the Milanese Sforzas. This 
time, the agreement went forward, and Lucrezia 
finally approached the altar in 1493. 

Rodrigo Borgia had, in the meantime, become 
Pope Alexander VI in 1492. During the Renaissance, 
the papacy ceased to be the universal center of Chris- 
tianity and had become, instead, a grand prize to be 
won by aristocratic Italian families. The popes of the 
Renaissance, being political heads of states, were 
deeply involved in secular affairs. The Catholic 
Church acknowledged the need for reform within the 
church, but it would take the Protestant Reformation 
(1517) to put actual reforms in motion. The wedding 
between Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni Sforza, a 
bawdy affair, illustrated the material excesses of the 
Renaissance papacy. During the wedding feast, the 
pope and other religious leaders were seen throwing 
food down the low-cut bodices of the bride's attendees. 

Not long after the wedding, Cesare Borgia began 
plotting to rid the family of Giovanni Sforza, having 
become captivated once again by Naples' power and 
prestige. Cesare Borgia claimed that Sforza was 
impotent, and that the marriage had not been con- 
summated. Sforza, for his part, accused Lucrezia and 
Cesare of incest. The annulment process was an 
embarrassment for both. In the end, in exchange for 
keeping his wife's dowry, Sforza signed a confession 
to the charge of impotence. 

Lucrezia's next husband was 17-year-old Alfonso of 
Aragon, the illegitimate son of the king of Naples. He 
fled his marital bed when rumors circulated that Cesare 
was plotting his demise. Before he could escape, 
Alfonso was strangled by Cesares hired assassin. 

By 1500, Lucrezia was 27 years old and the 
mother of one son (whose father, some alleged, was 
Cesare Borgia). A period of relative tranquillity 
ensued when Lucrezia became her father's secretary, 
until a new alliance could be arranged. But who 
would marry her, after one husband confessed to 
impotency, another was murdered, and rumors had it 
that her son might also be her nephew? 

Fortunately for Lucrezia, her next husband turned 
out to be her best and longest lasting partner. Alfonso 



242 



RULERS 



d'Este, the son of Ercole d'Este, duke of Ferrara, 
agreed to the union in exchange for an enormous 
dowry. Cesare Borgia, who by this time wanted to 
conquer the Romagna region, in north central Italy, 
needed an alliance with the duke of Ferrara, whose 
lands lay adjacent to the coveted territory. Lucrezia, 
for her part, wanted this marriage badly because it 
would keep her far away from her brother and her 
father. Lucrezia left Rome in January 1502, with 150 
mules carrying her belongings in tow. 

The people of Ferrara adored Lucrezia. She avoided 
politics and immersed herself in the arts and in the 
education of her children (she had seven by Alfonso 
d'Este). She patronized many artists and poets, includ- 
ing humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) and poet 
Lodovico Ariosto (1474-1533). Today, a golden lock 
of hair, given to Lucrezia by Bembo, is displayed at the 
Ambrosian Library in Milan, Italy, along with several 
of Lucrezia's letters written to him. After Ercole's death 
in 1505, Alfonso d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia became 
the duke and duchess of Ferrara, a partnership that 
lasted until her death in Ferrara on June 24, 1519. 

Further Reading 

Bellonci, Maria. The Life and Times of Lucrezia Borgia. New 

York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1953. 
Cloulas, Ivan. The Borgias. London: Watts, 1989. 
Erlanger, Rachel. Lucrezia Borgia: A Biography. New York: 

Hawthorne Books, Inc. 1978. 




Catherine II was empress of Russia 
between 1762 and 1796. 

Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



A CATHERINE II (Catherine the Great 
of Russia; Sophie Friederike Auguste) 

(1729—1796) Russian empress 

Catherine lis rule of Russia, her adopted homeland, 
coincided with its peak years of strength, both politi- 
cally and culturally. She became one of Europe's first 
enlightened despots, using her ability to reason to 
become a wise and benevolent ruler of her people. 
She is best known for the cultural improvements she 
instituted during her reign. Her hopes of improving 
social conditions for peasants, however, were dashed 
by a revolt that convinced her that power should 
remain in the hands of the nobility and not be trans- 
ferred to the peasants. 



Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste was born on 
May 2, 1729, in Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, 
Poland), to a minor German prince. Her fate was 
altered when, in 1744, she received an invitation 
from Empress Elizabeth of Russia (1709-62) to visit 
the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg, Russia. Eliza- 
beth made a shrewd calculation when she requested 
Sophie's presence. Unmarried, with no heirs, Eliza- 
beth wanted to insure that a member of her family 
remained ruler of Russia. Her eldest sister had been 
married to a German duke and given birth to a son, 
Peter, who was Sophie's cousin and heir to the Russ- 
ian throne. The Empress figured that, because 
Sophie's branch of the family was not wealthy and 
therefore she had no good marriage prospects, she 



243 



RULERS 



would willingly renounce her German ties and marry 
a Russian heir. Although Sophie adhered to the 
Lutheran faith, Elizabeth sensed that Sophie might 
be amenable to a conversion to the Russian Ortho- 
dox Church. Finally, Sophie was related to the Pruss- 
ian King Frederick the Great (1712-86), which 
would help Russia cement ties to the powerful Pruss- 
ian state. In other words, the empress's invitation to 
Sophie was not just for tea: in fact, she intended to 
marry Sophie Friederike Auguste to her unruly, 
immature 1 6-year-old nephew, Peter. 

Although the marriage seemed advantageous to 
everyone, it soon soured. Crowned Emperor of Rus- 
sia, Peter III remained aloof from his rule, preferring 
to live in his beloved Holstein, a province of Ger- 
many. He aroused hostility among his government 
and religious leaders when he refused to convert to 
the Orthodox church — more evidence of his indiffer- 
ence toward his position. 

Unfortunately, Sophie interested the emperor 
even less. The union did produce one son, Paul 
(although some scholars believe Paul's father may 
have been Gregory Orlov, a nobleman). In any case, 
both partners found affection outside marriage. 
Soon, Sophie and her lover, Orlov, plotted to remove 
Peter III from the throne. Other government officials 
and church leaders also conspired against Peter III, 
planning to place son Paul on the throne with Sophie 
acting as regent until Paul reached adulthood. But 
they underestimated Sophie's ambition. With the 
help of Orlov, she rallied the military to her support, 
placed Peter under house arrest, changed her name to 
Catherine II, and declared herself empress of Russia. 

Once Catherine II secured her position, she made 
plans to reform the Russian government, enhance Rus- 
sia's status in the world, and gain more territory for her 
adopted country. Fortunately, she had already been 
learning the Russian language, which enabled her to 
communicate with government officials. Unlike her 
husband, she took her position seriously, and she 
began to study what the great minds of the day — 
French philosophers Denis Diderot (1713—84), 
Francois Voltaire (1694-1778), and Montesquieu 
(1689-1755) — had to say about governing a nation. 
Taking cues from her relative Frederick the Great of 



Prussia, Catherine II became an "enlightened despot"; 
one who believed that by using her ability to reason, a 
wise and benevolent ruler could ensure the well-being 
of the people. These same Enlightenment ideas influ- 
enced later governments, including the United States 
and France. 

Catherine II used her knowledge to reform the 
Russian legal system. Inspired by Montesquieu, a 
French philosopher, she composed a pamphlet called 
"The Instruction," intended to guide lawmakers as 
they reformed the legal system. Distributed through- 
out Europe, "The Instruction" called for changes that 
would not take place until centuries later. Catherine II 
wanted the law to provide equal protection for all peo- 
ple — not just those of the upper classes. She empha- 
sized prevention of criminal acts instead of harsh 
punishments — another idea well ahead of her time. 
The lawmakers responsible for making changes to the 
legal system, however, took few of her suggestions. 

During the time of Catherine IPs reign, Russia 
was a feudal society in which peasants, or serfs, were 
forced to farm lands owned by the nobility. She had 
plans to grant the serfs more freedoms, but a revolt 
by the peasants soon changed her mind. A military 
man named Yemelyan Pugachov instigated a rebel- 
lion in the remote southern territory of Russia. Puga- 
chov led the peasants to believe that he would depose 
Catherine II and help them gain their own land and 
more freedoms. Several imperial expeditions were 
required to quell the rebellion, until Pugachov was 
finally captured in 1774. From this incident, Cather- 
ine concluded that the best safeguard against rebel- 
lion was to strengthen the hand of the nobility, rather 
than take measures to improve conditions for the 
serfs. Freedom for the serfs was one reform that the 
empress failed to implement. 

Catherine II also wanted to improve Russia's repu- 
tation elsewhere in the world. To enhance Russia's 
status, she bolstered its economic standing by lifting 
restrictions on commerce and encouraging trade with 
other nations. The empress also encouraged the set- 
tlement of remoter parts of Russia, thereby improv- 
ing trade conditions in those areas. 

The arts and sciences also received Catherine's 
attention. In the Age of Enlightenment, learning 



244 



RULERS 



became the centerpiece of European civilization, and 
in many ways St. Petersburg became an important 
cultural center in Europe. Theater, art, and music 
lured foreigners to St. Petersburg, one of Europe's 
most dazzling cities. 

While she reigned, Catherine II claimed parts of 
Poland and Turkey as Russian territory. The Turkish 
warm-water port on the Black Sea was an especially 
significant acquisition, because ships from Mediter- 
ranean ports could bring trade goods to Russian mar- 
kets all year round. For her ability to increase Russia's 
land, and for her improvements in Russian culture, 
Catherine II was named Catherine the Great. She 
died on November 17,1796. 

Further Reading 

Alexander, John. Catherine the Great. New York: Oxford 

University Press, 1989. 
De Madariaga, Isabel. Catherine the Great: A Short History. 

New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990. 
Troyat, Henri. Catherine the Great. Trans, by Joan 

Pinkham. New York: Meridian Press, 1994. 



A CLEOPATRA VII 

(69-30 B.C.E.) Macedonian Queen of Egypt 

The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra has intrigued cen- 
turies of poets, playwrights, and filmmakers with her 
cunning ability to use her sexuality as a weapon in 
her campaign to establish her adopted homeland as 
the center of power in the Mediterranean world. Per- 
haps what makes Cleopatra an especially alluring fig- 
ure is the tragic way her life ended, after she had 
spent her life gaining the confidence of her people 
and trying to fortify her position as Egyptian ruler. 

Cleopatra's ancestors hailed from Macedon, a pow- 
erful but small nation north of Greece. Alexander the 
Great (356-323 B.C.E.), a relative of Cleopatra's, had 
conquered much of the Mediterranean world until his 
death in 323 B.C.E. Cleopatra was the last of the 
Macedonians to rule Egypt. She ruled Egypt jointly 
with her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, and, after his 
death, with her brother Ptolemy XIII, whom she also 
married. Later, when Ptolemy XIII died, she and her 
younger brother wed, and he became Ptolemy XIV 




Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, tried to secure inde- 
pendence for her country form Rome in the first 

century B.C.E. There are no contemporaneous 

images of her aside from a few coins; this Roman 

rendition is from the British Museum. 



(see HATSHEPSUT for information on incest in Egypt- 
ian royal marriages). After her brothers died, she 
began to seek other men who could help her retain, 
and strengthen, her hold on the throne. An intelligent 
ruler, Cleopatra knew that she would also need the 
loyalty of the people she ruled. To that end, she 
declared herself to be the daughter of the Sun God Re, 
and she learned the Egyptian language; she was the 
only one of the Ptolemaic rulers to speak Egyptian. 

During Cleopatra's reign, Egypt continued to 
grow in strength and influence in the Mediterranean 
world. The Roman Empire, which had been the cul- 
tural center of the world, began losing power. 
Cleopatra became involved in power struggles 
between Roman rulers, while at the same time trying 
to maintain her own strength as Egypt's ruler. To 
make matters more complicated, Roman leaders tried 



245 



RULERS 



to bolster Rome's strength by making Egypt part of 
the Roman Empire. Two rivals in Rome, Pompey 
(106-48 B.C.E.) and Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.E.) 
vied for power. Caesar's army defeated Pompey at the 
Battle of Pharsalus in 48 B.C.E.; Pompey fled to 
Egypt where he was assassinated by Egyptian 
courtiers. With his rival dead, Julius Caesar consoli- 
dated his mastery of the Mediterranean by claiming 
Egypt as part of his Roman Empire. When Caesar 
came to Alexandria, Egypt, in 48 B.C.E., Cleopatra 
persuaded him to support her cause — retaining her 
position on the Egyptian throne. Caesar did not dally 
long in Alexandria, however, even after the birth of 
Cleopatra's son by him in 47 B.C.E., named Ptolemy 
XV Caesarion, with whom Cleopatra ruled jointly 
from AA to 30 B.C.E. (Caesar never recognized his 
paternity). With her consort Ptolemy XIV maintain- 
ing rule at home, she accompanied Caesar to Rome 
later that year, though he spent little time with her 
there. Her presence in Rome irritated Roman offi- 
cials, which may have contributed to the resentment 
against him and ultimately led to his assassination in 
AA B.C.E. by a group of Roman senators. 

Cleopatra then became involved with Mark 
Antony (83-30 B.C.E.), Caesar's ally and assistant, for 
the same reason that she allied with Julius Caesar — 
she wanted to maintain her leadership position in 
Egypt, and she needed a powerful man to help her 
accomplish this goal. She also wanted control over 
other parts of the Roman Empire, for herself and for 
her children, to ensure continuation of Ptolemaic 
rule of Egypt. Cleopatra financed Mark Antony's 
ambitious campaigns to conquer eastern territories 
for Rome, most of which failed. 

In 34 B.C.E., she and Mark Antony held a cere- 
mony in which he handed over eastern provinces, as 
well as portions of the east that Rome expected to 
conquer. Dismayed by his actions, the Roman Senate 
demanded an explanation. Antony replied that he 
was simply sharing Rome's conquests with its clients. 
In truth, he was hoping to establish Egypt as the new 
seat of power in the Roman Empire. 

Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.E.-14 C.E.), the new 
Roman emperor, regarded Antony (who, before he 
became involved with Cleopatra, had married Augus- 



tus's sister) and his growing power within Egypt as a 
threat to his own position and to the ascendancy of 
Rome. He waged a successful propaganda campaign 
against Mark Antony and the Egyptian queen by per- 
suading the Roman Senate that Antony spent his time 
in Egypt in idle frivolity. It worked; Antony was 
denounced as an enemy of Rome. Soon after, Augus- 
tus Caesar defeated Antony's army at the Battle of 
Actium in western Greece. Antony and Cleopatra fled 
back to Alexandria, but Augustus Caesar followed 
them. Rather than face humiliation, on August 30, 
30 B.C.E. the two committed suicide, she by 
snakebite. Augustus Caesar killed Caesarion, Cleopa- 
tra's child by Julius Caesar, but her children by Mark 
Antony, the twins Cleopatra Selene and Alexander 
Helios, and Ptolemy Philadelphus survived and ruled 
Egypt nominally until Augustus Caesar was named 
pharaoh in 30 B.C.E. 

Perhaps more than any other woman in the 
ancient world, Cleopatra's name is synonymous 
with sexual allure, intrigue, and opportunism. 
William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) play Antony 
and Cleopatra depicted Cleopatra as a tragic woman 
with personal and nationalist ambitions that had 
ultimately failed. The historical record reinforces 
this view. But the legend of Cleopatra must also be 
contrasted with the historical figure. Her reputation 
as the erotic sexual companion of various Roman 
rulers is only that: a reputation that has never been 
proven and certainly does not match the manner of 
other Macedonian rulers. The legends about 
Cleopatra, spread by her enemies, served to raise 
questions about her ability to rule, though the 
Egyptians themselves never doubted her compe- 
tence or her loyalty to them. This more favorable 
view of Cleopatra, however, must be tempered by 
the realization that throughout history women's sex- 
uality was often the only means by which they 
could achieve their goals. 

Further Reading 

Bradford, Ernie Dusgate Selby. Cleopatra. San Diego: Har- 

court Brace Jovanovich, 1972. 
Grant, Michael. Cleopatra. New York: Simon and Schuster, 

1973. 



246 



RULERS 



ELIZABETH I 

(1533-1603) 



Queen of England 



"I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble 
woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King." 
With this declaration, Elizabeth I, queen of England, 
reinforced traditional attitudes about women (that 
they were frail and incompetent) and men (that they 
were strong and capable). Yet in her own life, she 
defied these gender stereotypes. Elizabeth I was one 
of the few European women who ruled effectively 
without help from either a father or a husband. 

Elizabeth's turbulent family background did not 
predict her successes. Born at Greenwich on Sep- 
tember 7, 1533, her father, King Henry VIII 
(1491-1547) (see Margaret BEAUFORT), disappointed 
that his wife, Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), had 
produced no male heirs, soon found comfort in the 
arms of Anne Boleyn (1507-36). They were secretly 
married; but when Anne gave birth to a daughter, 
Elizabeth, the king accused her of adultery. Boleyn's 
alleged five lovers — including her brother — were exe- 
cuted. A court declared the marriage void, and Anne 
Boleyn faced the chopping block herself when her 
daughter was only three years old. A court subse- 
quently deemed Elizabeth an illegitimate child. Eight 
years later, Parliament reinstated her legitimacy, and 
Elizabeth's place in line for the throne was restored. 
Soon, however, her Catholic half sister, Queen Mary I 
(1506-58), accused Protestant Elizabeth of rallying to 
the Protestant cause. She spent the next few years 
imprisoned in the London Tower. 

Only the excellent education she received bright- 
ened Elizabeth's otherwise dismal childhood. She 
learned French, Greek, Latin, and Italian, and she 
had instruction in math and science. The languages 
served her well in foreign policy matters when she did 
ascend the throne upon the death of Mary I, in 1558. 

The religious differences that had caused rifts 
between sisters Elizabeth and Mary I mirrored those 
of the rest of English society. England had experi- 
enced a dramatic swing toward Protestantism under 
Edward VI (1 537-53) and an equally strong backlash 
during Mary's reign. Elizabeth found middle ground 
between the two faiths, becoming the only English 



ruler capable of resolving the religious issue. First, she 
needed to convince Parliament that compromise was 
the only solution. Elizabeth faced a Parliament that 
was equally divided between the Catholic House of 
Lords and the Protestant House of Commons. Nego- 
tiations between crown and Parliament resulted in 
the Church of England, which combined a hierarchi- 
cal Catholic structure with a Protestant creed. The 
solution satisfied as many of Elizabeth's subjects as 
possible. As further example of the religiously toler- 
ant attitude she hoped to instill in all her country- 
men, there would be no questioning of a man's inner 
religious convictions, as there had been in Spain (see 
ISABELLA i). By law, however, all Englishmen were 
required to attend the Church of England. Despite 
the apparent victory, religious squabbles continued to 
plague Elizabeth's reign. 

In foreign policy matters, Elizabeths councillors 
had little else in their minds but the question of 
whom the queen would marry. Which suitor would 
the queen choose: the French duke d'Alen^on, Philip 
II of Spain (1527-98), or her childhood sweetheart 
Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester? Elizabeth disap- 
pointed all of them. She refused to marry because she 
simply would not share power with anyone. Marry- 
ing any of her royal suitors would have created a per- 
ception of favoritism. By remaining the sole wearer of 
the crown, she could further her general policy of 
balancing the continental powers against one 
another. This strategy worked fairly well; she kept 
peace with both France and Spain. Religious prob- 
lems compromised her position in 1568, when 
another Mary, this time Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots 
(1542-87), brought the Catholic/Protestant conflict 
again to the fore. 

The bold and brash Mary, queen of Scots, 
embroiled in a number of love affairs, had been 
forced to give up the throne in 1568. She fled to Lon- 
don, and Elizabeth imprisoned her. The following 
year, a band of Catholic lords led an attempt on 
Mary's behalf in northern England. The 1570s and 
'80s were marked by a series of Catholic plots to 
overthrow Elizabeth and place Mary of Scotland on 
the English throne. Elizabeth's spies successfully 
uncovered most of the plots before they could 



247 



RULERS 



unfold. Ending the period of tolerance in 1587, Eliz- 
abeth launched a crackdown on more than 200 
Catholic priests and laymen and executed them on 
charges of treason. When a spy accused Mary of com- 
plicity in an assassination plot in 1587, Mary, too, 
was executed. 

The uncertainty of Elizabeth's reign, in the face 
of several attempts to unseat her, and a series of 
revolts in Ireland that left British nobles richer and 
Irish natives impoverished, encouraged Catholic 
Philip of Spain to invade England in 1588. The 
Spanish Armada was defeated offshore, but not 
before Elizabeth, leading her army and promising to 
live or die with her soldiers, experienced the most 
triumphant moment of her reign. Elizabeth died on 
March 24, 1603. 

Elizabeth presided over her beloved England dur- 
ing its cultural renaissance, when humanist play- 
wrights such as William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 
and Christopher Marlowe (1564-93) almost 
enabled the English to forget their religious differ- 
ences. The English explorers Sir Francis Drake 
(1540-96) and Sir John Hawkins (1532-95) further 
expanded English minds. The English defeat of the 
Spanish Armada ensured that Spain would never 
again rule the seas. On balance, however, religious 
tensions and succession squabbles left Elizabeth's 
rule troubled at best. 

Further Reading 

Erickson, Carolly. The First Elizabeth. New York: Summit, 

1983. 
Hibbert, Christopher. The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, 

Genius of the Golden Age. Reading, Mass.: Addison- 

Wesley, 1991. 



A GANDHI, INDIRA (Indira Priyadarshini 
Gandhi) 

(1917—1984) Indian prime minister 

The first female prime minister of India, Indira 
Gandhi held office from 1966 to 1977 and from 
1980 until her death. Two of her bodyguards, who 
were members of the Sikh secessionist movement 
active in the Punjab in northwest India, assassinated 



her in 1984. Gandhi, a democrat and socialist, 
brought a fresh perspective to Indian politics, increas- 
ing women's participation in the political process and 
in government. 

Born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, 
India, Gandhi was the only child born to Jawahar- 
lal and Kamala Nehru. When she was two years 
old, her prominent, wealthy family received a visit 
from Mohandas (also called Mahatma) Gandhi 
(1869-1948), the pacifist leader of the Indian 
independence movement. Mohandas Gandhi had 
been in exile in South Africa, and upon his return 
to India he converted Jawaharlal and Kamala 
Nehru, and their daughter Indira, to the cause of 
Indian independence from Great Britain. Their 
home became the headquarters of the struggle, and 
Indira's parents were frequently jailed because of 
their activism. Indira attended school in Poona, 
taking time out to visit her parents, and Mohandas 
Gandhi, while they were in prison. Kamala Nehru 
died of cancer in 1934, whereupon Indira 
embarked on a five-year stint of education abroad, 
in Switzerland and at Oxford University in London 
(she also attended Santiniketan University and 
Visva-Bharati University in India). 

When she returned in 1939, Indira Gandhi 
decided to break her vow to remain single by marrying 
Feroze Gandhi (no relation to Mohandas Gandhi). 
Feroze belonged to a small, religious group called 
Parsee that had left Persia centuries earlier to escape 
Muslim persecution. The Nehrus, members of the 
Hindu religion and the priestly Brahmin class, looked 
down upon the Parsees as culturally inferior. The cou- 
ple married, despite protests from Indira's parents and 
the public, in 1942. Shortly after their wedding, Indira 
and Feroze were jailed for 13 months for their partici- 
pation in the Indian independence movement. 

After her release from prison, Indira gave birth to 
two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay. After India achieved inde- 
pendence in 1 947, Jawaharlal became the new nation's 
first prime minister (r. 1947-64). Nehru's policies 
focused on establishing democracy and improving 
living standards in the impoverished nation. A politi- 
cian with socialist leanings, he also favored a state- 
controlled economy, which he saw as crucial to raising 



248 



RULERS 




Indira Gandhi, second from left, was the first woman prime minister of India. 
Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. 



India's economy. He gained international recognition 
for promoting Indian neutrality during the cold war; 
rhetorically, he advocated nonaggression and an end to 
atomic weaponry. However, his administration was 
criticized when Indian forces seized Goa and other 
Portuguese colonial holdings in India. 

Because he was a widower, Nehru chose Indira to 
act as a hostess at government functions. Although 
Indira lived in her father's shadow during his years 
as prime minister, she gradually began forming a 
political identity of her own. In 1955, Indira 
Gandhi joined the executive committee of the Con- 
gress Party. It was during this period that Indira and 
her husband grew apart, and although they never 
divorced, they lived separately until Feroze's death 
in 1960. 



When Jawaharlal Nehru died in 1964, Lai 
Bahadur Shastri (1904-66) succeeded him as prime 
minister. Shastri named Indira Gandhi minister of 
information. When Shastri died unexpectedly in 
1966, Gandhi took over as president of the Congress 
Party, and then she rose to prime minister. Her lead- 
ership, however, was continually challenged by the 
right wing of the Congress Party, led by a former 
minister of finance, Moraji Desai. In the 1967 elec- 
tion, her victory over Desai was so narrow that she 
was forced to accept Desai as deputy prime minister. 
Between 1967 and the next election, when Gandhi 
beat her opponent by a substantial margin, Gandhi 
won over the electorate. 

During her first term in office, Indira Gandhi 
improved the irrigation system, increased food 



249 



RULERS 



production, further developed an industrial base, and 
nationalized the banking system. In the realm of for- 
eign policy, however, her achievements came at the 
cost of a great deal of heartache. In 1971, the nonvi- 
olent Gandhi gave reluctant support to East Bengal's 
successful attempt to secede from Pakistan. The move 
resulted in the creation of the state of Bangladesh. 

By 1973, Delhi and North India reeled under 
demonstrations over high inflation, rampant govern- 
ment corruption, and India's poor standard of living. 
Although Gandhi and the Congress Party had won 
the 1972 election by a landslide, her opponent 
charged election fraud. The high court of Allahabad 
ruled against her in 1975, raising the specter of 
removal from office and being barred from politics. 
Gandhi responded by declaring a state of emergency, 
throwing leaders of opposition parties, such as J. P. 
Narayan of the Janata Party, in jail, and suspending 
civil liberties. She then passed a number of unpopu- 
lar measures, including a program of sterilization as a 
form of birth control, which mandated vasectomies 
for men with families of two or more children. Not 
surprisingly, she lost the 1977 election. She was also 
imprisoned briefly on charges of official corruption. 

She planned a gradual political comeback, con- 
centrating her support locally, then nationally. She 
regained a Parliament seat in 1978. In 1980, she and 
the new party she formed, the Congress I (for Indira) 
Party, won the elections for the Lok Sabha (House of 
the People), the lower house of Parliament, by a large 
margin. She became prime minister a second time. 

During the early 1980s, Gandhi staved off chal- 
lenges from several Indian states seeking independ- 
ence from the central government. The most violent 
threat came from the Sikh extremists in the province 
of Punjab, in northern India. In June 1984, Gandhi 
sent the Indian army to the province to drive Sikh 
guerrillas out. On October 31, 1984, while strolling 
through her garden, Indira Gandhi crumpled from 
the bullets shot by her Sikh bodyguards. "If I die a 
violent death as some fear and a few are plotting," she 
had said, "I know the violence will be in the thought 
and the action of the assassin, not in my dying. . . ." 
Indira Gandhi, leader of the most populous democ- 
racy in the world, served as an inspiration for women 



in a culture in which women are generally sub- 
servient to men. 

Further Reading 

Jayakar, Pupul. Indira Gandhi: A Biography. New Delhi, 

India: Viking, 1992. 
Malhotra, Inder. Indira Gandhi: A Political and Personal 

Biography. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989. 
Mansani, Zareer. Indira Gandhi: A Biography. New York: 

T.Y. Crowell, 1976. 



& HATSHEPSUT (Hatchepsut) 

(c. 1503-1482 B.C.E.) Egyptian queen 

Hatshepsut was the second female king in Egyptian 
history. Her reign as Egypt's king occurred during the 
New Kingdom (1575-1087 B.C.E.), a period marked 
by the reunification of the ancient Egyptian empire 
through the expulsion of foreign invaders, accom- 
plished with new military techniques and weapons. 
Hatshepsut's rule coincided with a general peace, 
prosperity, and extended trade throughout the Mid- 
dle East. 

Based on the work of Egypt's first historian 
Manetho (early third century B.C.E.), modern histori- 
ans have divided Egyptian history into three major 
periods known as the Old Kingdom, Middle King- 
dom, and New Kingdom. Each period was character- 
ized by long-term stability, strong monarchical 
authority, and impressive intellectual, cultural, and 
architectural activity. Lower Egypt includes the Nile 
Delta at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea; Upper 
Egypt includes the first and second cataracts (or water- 
falls) of the Nile River, the boundaries that mark 
Egypt's border with Sudan today. From around 1640 
B.C.E. much of Egypt was ruled by the Hyksos, a 
Semitic people from the Levant (Lebanon and Syria 
today), who gradually took control of Lower Egypt, 
which they ruled from their capital at Avaris, Egypt. 
Upper Egypt remained independent, ruled by the royal 
dynasty at the city of Thebes. Hyksos rule made Egypt 
more open to foreign influences, such as the use of 
bronze, war chariots, and weapons including the com- 
posite bow and scale armor. The Hyksos introduced 
new crops, new fashions, and new musical instruments. 



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The New Kingdom period, however, began with 
the movement to expel the Hyksos from Egypt. The 
Theban king Seqenenre II (died 1555 B.C.E.) began 
the process, completed by Ahmose in 1532 B.C.E. 
During the New Kingdom, Egyptian power and 
influence reached its peak. Rulers heavily guarded 
Egypt's border to prevent another invasion, but they 
also became expansionists, increasing its territory 
around 1500 under the warrior king Tuthmosis I, 
Hatshepsut's father (her mother was Queen Aahmes, 
Tuthmosis Is chief wife). 

Tuthmosis I conquered the entire Levant and 
established a frontier on the Euphrates River (in pres- 
ent-day Iraq). Lower and Upper Nubia, in present- 
day Sudan, came under Egyptian control as well, 
becoming a great source of wealth. 

Her parents favored Hatshepsut over their other 
two children. When her two brothers died, she 
became her fathers only royal heir. At the time, a 
female king, that is, a woman who ruled in her own 
right, without the help of a man, was practically 
unheard of in Egyptian history. Generally, women's 
ability to rule Egypt was limited to passing the throne 
to the next king through marriage. Egyptian 
pharaohs, as they later came to be called, were 
thought to be sons of Ra, the sun god (who, interest- 
ingly, had both male and female attributes). The royal 
blood could only be passed down through marriage 
and procreation by the oldest princess. A few 
princesses ruled Egypt through regencies when their 
sons were too young to rule; Ni-Maat-Heb (3rd 
dynasty, c. 2650-2575 B.C.E.), Ankh-Meri-Ra (6th 
dynasty, c. 2325-2150 B.C.E.), and Hatshepsut are 
examples. The first female to rule in her own right was 
Khent Kaues (4th dynasty, c. 2575-2465 B.C.E.). 

Hatshepsut married her half-brother, Tuthmosis II, 
son of Tuthmosis I and a common woman; upon the 
union she ruled jointly with him. The couple had no 
children (Hatshepsut did bear a daughter, Meritha, 
who was most likely sired by her lover Senmut). When 
Tuthmose II died around 1490 B.C.E., after ruling only 
three years, she became regent of Tuthmosis III, son of 
Tuthmosis II and a common woman. 

Hatshepsut became an active regent, ruling Egypt 
as though she were king. In fact, she proclaimed her- 



self queen by declaring that the great Egyptian god, 
Amon-re, had sanctified her and given her divine 
approval to rule. (Egyptian kings were considered not 
merely representatives of a god, but gods themselves, 
on whom the lives, safety, and well-being of their 
people depended. Government was thus part of reli- 
gion.) She helped strengthen her title to the throne 
by dressing in the symbols of an Egyptian king: she 
wore a kilt, a headdress, and a false beard. 

She also reinforced her sovereignty by ordering 
expeditions to Punt, a territory in present-day Somalia, 
southeast of Egypt. The excursion was well worth it: 
her explorers brought back ivory, animals, spices, gold, 
and aromatic trees. Hatshepsut's courtiers documented 
the trip by adorning the walls of her temple with hiero- 
glyphic inscriptions depicting images of the Puntites 
and their queen. The Puntite queen was apparently a 
heavyset woman with a crooked neck and an aquiline 
nose (the ideal physique for an Egyptian was a tall, 
slight frame and only a slight paunch at the belly to 
indicate wealth, health, and well-being). 

Hatsheput embarked on a major building project 
at Karnak, near Thebes. She had her crew add on to 
Amon-re's temple, on which she erected four pink 
granite obelisks, with gold and silver peaks that 
glowed in the sun; she had stonecutters carve inscrip- 
tions bearing the events of her life. She also had a 
huge memorial temple built at west Thebes in honor 
of her reign, known as Deir el-Bahri, still considered 
one of Egypt's architectural wonders. 

Hatshepsut employed two tactics to strengthen her 
rule: she continually emphasized her royal ascendancy 
and the favor she had enjoyed from Tuthmosis I, who 
had been a popular king. Second, she reinforced the 
divinity of her rule. She had the walls of her tomb 
inscribed with a story detailing the night Amon-re vis- 
ited the bed of her mother, Queen Aahmes. 

When Hatshepsut died, Tuthmosis III attempted 
to obliterate her reign as Egypt's queen. Tuthmosis III 
was the first Egyptian ruler to call himself pharaoh, a 
word meaning "great house," or "palace." He defaced 
her obelisks by having masons cover them with stone, 
although he allowed the gilded tops to remain. The 
inscriptions have since been recovered, testimony to 
Hatshepsut's reign as Egypt's female ruler. 



251 



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Further Reading 

Gedge, Pauline. Child of the Morning. New York: Dial 
Press, 1977. Young Adult. 

Tyldesley, Joyce A. Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh. Lon- 
don: Penguin, 1998. 

Wells, Evelyn. Hatshepsut. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 
1969. 



A. ISABELLA I (Isabella of Castile) 

(1451-1504) Spanish queen 

Historians have frequently obscured the identity of 
Isabella within a broader discussion of the reign 
of Isabella, queen of Castile, and Ferdinand, king 
of Aragon, by lumping the royal couple together as 
"The Catholic Kings," or "The Catholic Monarchs." 
By referring to the pair as masculine "kings," however, 
historians blur the fact that these two Spanish rulers 
may well exemplify the first equal royal partnership in 
European history. 

For her role in the opening of the Americas to 
European exploration and trade, and because explo- 
ration is one of the defining characteristics of the 
European Renaissance, Isabella I is often referred to 
as "the first Renaissance queen." A deeply Christian 
woman, Isabella and her husband, King Ferdinand 
(1452-1516), attempted to create a Christian king- 
dom by expelling all non-Christians from their 
realm. To that end, she asked the pope to introduce 
the Inquisition into Spain in 1478 and waged war 
against the Spanish Muslims in Granada. Spain 
emerged as an important power in Europe as a result. 
The royal pair's financing of the voyage of Christo- 
pher Columbus (1451-1506) cemented Spain's pre- 
eminence even further. 

Isabella was born on April 22, 1451, in Madrigal, 
Castile, a province in the Iberian Peninsula (what is 
now Spain). Her father, Juan II of Castile, died when 
Isabella was three years old. Her mother, Isabella of 
Portugal, took her daughter to the court of her half- 
brother, Enrique IV, when the young girl reached the 
age of 13. When Enrique IV had a daughter, Juana, 
in 1463, noblemen began squabbling over the ques- 
tion of royal succession. Some supported Isabella's 
claims on the throne, while others argued that Juana 



should succeed the king. Catholic archbishop 
Alfonso Carrillo arranged a marriage between Isabella 
and Ferdinand, son of King Juan II of Aragon, 
located on the French border in the northeast corner 
of the Iberian Peninsula, to encourage Isabella's sup- 
porters. The archbishop performed the ceremony in 
secret in 1469. Because the couple were cousins, Car- 
rillo forged a papal document to allow them to marry 
(the Catholic church did not allow marriage between 
cousins). Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503) officially 
sanctioned the marriage in 1471. With the pope's 
blessing, powerful Castilian nobles backed Isabella's 
claim on the throne, and, as some courtiers ques- 
tioned whether Juana's father was really Enrique IV, 
Isabella wore the Castilian crown upon Enrique's 
death in 1474. 

Her ascension did not occur without dissent, 
however. A civil war erupted between Juana's sup- 
porter, the king of Portugal, Alfonso V (1432-81), 
and the Castilian army. When Alfonso's army surren- 
dered at the battle of Toro in 1476, he made peace 
with the royal couple. In the same year, Ferdinand 
succeeded to the throne in Aragon, formally associat- 
ing Queen Isabella with his realm in 1481. With 
Juana silenced in a convent, Ferdinand and Isabella 
ruled a united Spain. 

In truth, however, "Spain" was little more than a 
union of two crowns represented by a marriage. Cer- 
tain events that took place during the reign of Isabella 
and Ferdinand did, however, serve to create the per- 
ception of a unified Spain that would ultimately 
become reality. 

The first event was the military reconquest of 
Granada, in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, 
from the Moors, Muslims who had conquered the area 
in the eighth century. In 1477, Isabella sent a demand 
to the Moorish king of Granada for renewal of tribute, 
a sort of fee paid by the Moors for the privilege of liv- 
ing in the Iberian Peninsula. In response, the Moorish 
king sent the ominous message that "we no longer 
mine gold, only steel," which, of course, meant 
weapons. His words proved futile, as the Spanish vic- 
tory over the Moors was complete. The peace terms 
were very generous; the Muslims' laws were respected, 
but their magistrates had to submit to the royal 



252 



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authority of Castile. If they chose to emigrate, vessels 
would be provided to them free of charge. 

Isabella did not give up so easily on the notion of 
religious unity in the Iberian Peninsula. Instead of 
accepting the advice of the archbishop of Granada, 
Hernando de Talavera, to try to convert the Muslims 
through education, Isabella deferred to her confessor, 
Jimenez Cisneros, who forced mass conversions. The 
move backfired, however, and Muslims began 
rebelling and seeking help abroad. In 1501, a fine was 
levied on rebels throughout Granada (Muslim con- 
verts to Christianity were exempted). Predictably, the 
Moors rebelled and tried to reclaim their territory 
again in 1502, after which time Isabella considered 
herself free from the religious freedoms she had ear- 
lier guaranteed. "They must either convert or leave 
our kingdom," wrote Isabella in 1501, "for we can 
not harbor infidels." After 1502, adult Muslims who 
refused a Christian baptism were expelled. 

Isabella's and Ferdinand's intolerance of non- 
Christians had other, bloodier consequences as well. In 
September 1480, with the consent of the pope, Isabella 
ordered the Inquisition to begin its work. The Spanish 
Inquisition was an attempt to create a united, racially 
and religiously homogenous society. Sanctioned by 
Rome and staffed by clergy, the judges were granted 
the power by the crown to investigate the sincerity of 
Jews and Moors who had converted to Christianity. 
Wealthy converts attempted an armed resistance to the 
Inquisition; they were betrayed and burned at the 
stake. The crown's attempt to create a pure Christian 
state failed, because in Spain there were few true Chris- 
tians or true Jews; the line between the two cultures 
had blurred over time. Jews had lived in Spain since the 
first century C.E., but discrimination against them 
commenced in 303. The Jewish community flourished 
with the Arab invasion in 71 1 and declined again with 
the weakening of Arab rule in 1212. The Inquisitors 
expelled 150,000 Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, 
resulting in a loss of skill and commerce in Spain. 

The second event solidifying the united Spanish 
crowns was the financing of Christopher Columbus's 
voyage to India in 1492. Having failed to convince 
Portugal, France, and England to back him, Colum- 
bus arrived at Isabella's and Ferdinand's court in a last- 




Isabella of Castile, queen of Spain, kneeling in the 

foreground of the 1 5th-century painting Virgen de los 

Reyes Catolicos by an anonymous artist. 



ditch attempt to secure passage. The Spanish were not 
a seafaring people in the 1 5th century, so Isabella and 
Ferdinand were last on Columbus's list. Isabella 
favored the patronage because she wanted to spread 
Christianity abroad. For his journey, if successful, 
Columbus would receive noble status, and the title 
"Admiral of the Ocean Sea." Upon reporting his dis- 
covery of what came to be known as the New World 
by Europeans, he set out for a second voyage in 1493. 
To his and his patrons' disappointment, the crew he 
had left behind on the island of Hispaniola (today 
divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic) had 
vanished, and the new colony proved unsuccessful, 
too. Columbus made two more voyages to the West 
Indies, never reaching Asia. The Spanish claim in the 



253 



RULERS 



"New World," however, served to further strengthen 
Spain as a contender in the race among imperial Euro- 
pean nations. For this reason, and for her patronage of 
education and the arts and music, Isabella is some- 
times called "the first Renaissance Queen." 

Both Ferdinand and Isabella took great care to 
perfect their partnership. All their decisions were 
made in full agreement with each other; at least that 
is the impression they cultivated among their sub- 
jects. Isabella instructed court historians to report all 
state acts as being performed by both the king and 
the queen jointly, even if the two were not present. 
Upon the birth of Ferdinand and Isabella's daughter, 
Juana, one court reporter wrote, with humor, "the 
king and queen gave birth to their daughter." Isabella 
died on November 26, 1504, in Medina del Campo. 

Further Reading 

Carroll, William. Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen. Fort 

Royal, Va.: Christendom Press, 1991. 
Fraser, Antonia. The Warrior Queens: The Legends and Lives 

of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War. New 

York: Knopf, 1989. 
Rubin, Nancy. Isabella of Castile: The First Renaissance 

Queen. New York: St. Martin's, 1991. 



& JAHAN.NUR 

(1577-1645) Indian empress 

In the city of Agra, in north central India, near the 
famous Taj Mahal, an elegant marble-inlaid tomb 
stands as a reminder to the talents and abilities of the 
Mughal empress Nur Jahan. It is not her tomb, how- 
ever; the monument houses the body of Jahan's father, 
Itimad-ud-Daula, chief minister to the Emperor 
Jahangir. Nur Jahan was the tomb's designer. A patron 
of the arts, she attracted Persian poets and artists, archi- 
tects, and musicians to the royal court at Agra while she 
presided as India's empress during its peak years of 
political and social power. Like many other women 
with political power, such as Corazon AQUINO, 
CATHERINE II, and CLEOPATRA, Nur Jahan became an 
empress through marriage. Although her husband's sta- 
tus put her in a powerful position, she knew how to 
make the most of her opportunity to enhance the 



power that fate had deposited in her lap. Like Cather- 
ine II and Cleopatra, Nur Jahan began her career a for- 
eigner in a strange land. 

Imagine a caravan making its way across the rolling, 
shifting sand hills of the Great Indian desert that sepa- 
rates present-day Pakistan and India. Inside, a baby girl 
named Mihr-un-Nissa (later Nur Jahan) was born to 
parents of noble lineage who fled their home in the 
Persian Empire to seek their fortunes at the royal court 
of the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) in India. 

India's greatest empire, the Mughal empire, was 
established by the warrior Babur (1483-1530), a rela- 
tive of the Mongol Ghengis Khan, in 1 526. Mughal 
rulers — Muslim invaders from Central Asia — brought 
India to its peak of political power and cultural achieve- 
ment. At its height, during Nur Jahan's life, Mughal ter- 
ritory expanded from Kabul, present-day Afghanistan, 
to the Bengal region near Calcutta, south to the Kaveri 
River near Bangalore. In later years, when Sikhs and the 
Dutch East India Company invaded its territory, the 
empire shrank until only Delhi was left to Bahadur 
Shah II, who was deposed and exiled by the British in 
the 19th century. Nur Jahan presided over numerous 
military defensive and offensive wars designed to keep 
the Mughal dynasty intact. 

Nur Jahan's father, Itimad-ud-Daula, attained 
high rank in the Emperor Akbar's court. Nur Jahan 
married an army officer, Sher Afkan, with whom she 
had one daughter, Laadlee Begum. Afkan died when 
she was 32. Upon Emperor Akbar's death in 1605, 
his son Jahangir (r. 1605-28) became emperor, and 
Itimad-ud-Daula found a position for his daughter as 
a servant of Emperor Jahangir's stepmother. Nur 
Jahan, however, escaped a fate that would have left 
her life dissolved in the anonymity of the harem. 
Instead, marriage to Emperor Jahangir, whom she 
met at a street fair in 1611, intervened. Jahangir fell 
in love with her; she became his favorite wife (he had 
19 others) and he made her his queen. 

The new queen rapidly asserted her influence over 
Jahangir's court. Like many women in powerful posi- 
tions, she both upheld traditions related to women 
and represented forces of change. She continued the 
tradition of purdah, a Persian word meaning "curtain." 
Practiced by Muslims and some Hindus, purdah is an 



254 



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institutionalized system that requires women to cover 
their bodies and faces and to remain in seclusion from 
the rest of society. Women lived in separate quarters 
from men and remained shrouded whenever they 
appeared in public places. While Nur Jahan advocated 
this custom for women, she herself clearly did not 
practice it; she maintained an active life at court. 

Nur Jahan quickly installed family members in 
powerful positions at the royal court. Her father 
became the imperial diwan, or chief minister; her 
brother, Asaf Khan, rose in rank to become one of 
the most influential noblemen at court. Nur Jahan 
cemented an alliance with Jahangir's second son, 
Khurram (later Shah Jahan, 1592-1666), heir- 
apparent to the throne. In 1612, Khurram married 
Arjumand Banu, later Mumtaz Mahal, Nur Jahan's 
niece and the daughter of Asaf Khan. Thus Nur 
Jahan, Itimad-ud-Daula, Asaf Khan, and Khurram 
all exerted significant influence upon Jahangir. 
Occasionally, for example, Nur Jahan issued edicts 
in her own name, not in Jahangir's. In another devel- 
opment that historian John F. Richards describes as 
"startling," silver rupees were minted bearing Nur 
Jahan's titles on one side and the legend "struck in 
the name of the Queen Begum, Nur Jahan" on the 
opposite. Richards explains that this issuance was a 
public proclamation of power sharing between 
Jahangir and his queen. However, in the face of this 
consolidation of power among Nur Jahan, her 
father, her brother, and Khurram, factions arose in 
opposition, headed by Mahabat Khan, an Iranian 
amir, who backed the claims of Prince Khusrau — 
Jahangir's other son, a blind man — to the throne. 

During his 23-year reign, Jahangir strengthened 
central control over his vast empire, a policy pursued 
by his father. In an effort to unify the subcontinent, 
Jahangir appointed his son Khurram to command a 
military expedition in the Deccan plateau in south- 
ern India. Partially successful, Jahangir named him 
Shah Jahan (King of the World) upon his return in 
1616. Whereas previously Nur Jahan sought an 
alliance with Shah Jahan, she now grew wary of his 
growing power. She suggested to Jahangir that he 
send his son back to the south to resume his military 
command. Jahangir agreed; Shah Jahan rebelled. 



In 1621, Nur Jahan's world seemed to be falling 
apart. Her husband slid under the effects of opium 
and alcohol. Shah Jahan had Khusrau secretly killed, 
and in January, her father died unexpectedly. Then, 
Jahangir fell seriously ill, and Shah Jahan marched 
toward Agra in open rebellion against Nur Jahan's 
policy of keeping him out of Agra. An imperial army 
set out to track down the Shah's forces, but he 
avoided a military conflict. For three years, the army 
chased the rebellious prince around southeast India. 

In 1626, Nur Jahan and her brother, Asaf Khan, 
decided to attack the Iranian emir Mahabat Khan 
(died 1634). As Jahangir and Nur Jahan made their 
way toward Kabul, Mahabat Khan captured Jahangir 
and took him prisoner. The emperor escaped, but his 
actions insured an alliance between Shah Jahan and 
Mahabat Khan. Jahangir retreated to Kashmir, where 
he died in October 1627. As a last-ditch effort to 
retain her prestige at court and prevent Shah Jahan 
from wearing the crown, Nur Jahan attempted to 
marry her daughter Laadlee Begum to Jahangir's 
third son, Prince Shahryar, but she lost the bid, and 
Khurram was declared emperor upon the death of 
Jahangir in 1628. Khurram, then called Shah Jahan 
(r. 1628-57), gave Nur Jahan a generous pension and 
she retired to private life. 

Further Reading 

Anand, Sugam. The History of Begum Nurjahan. New 

Delhi, India: Radha, 1992. 
Pant, Chandra. Nur Jahan and Her Family. Allahabad: 

Dandewal Publishing House, 1978. 
Shujauddin, Mohammad, and Razia Shujauddin. The Life 

and Times of Noor Jahan. Lahore, India: Caravan Book 

House, 1967. 



A MAMAEA, JULIA (Julia Avita Mammaea) 

(d. 235) Syrian princess 
and Roman regent 

"Mater universi generis humani!" (mother of the 
human race) cried the citizens of Rome upon the 
grand entrance of the regal Julia Mamaea. As regent 
during her son Alexander Severus's reign as emperor 
of Rome, it may have seemed that Mamaea was, 



255 



RULERS 



indeed, the mother of the human race, for Rome's 
power in the third century — though constantly chal- 
lenged — held steady. Mamaea was the last of four 
Syrian princesses to rule Rome in the early decades of 
the third century, all of whom were named Julia and 
are known collectively as "The Julias of Rome." 

Julia Domna (died 217), Julia Maesa (died 226), 
Julia Soaemias, and Mamaea all descended from the 
Syrian high priest Bassianius of Emesa, in western 
Syria (Domna and Maesa were his daughters) . Syria, 
a nation located in the Middle East, was then part of 
the Roman Empire. Domna became the second wife 
of the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus (145-21 1), 
who ruled from 193 to 211. When Septimus died, 
Domna's two sons Caracalla and Geta became joint 
emperors, though not for long: Caracalla murdered 
his brother and ruled alone, while Julia Domna 
retained control of imperial administration. 

Julia Maesa, Domna's sister, married a Syrian sen- 
ator, Julius Avitus. She gave birth to two daughters, 
Julia Soaemias and Mamaea. Soaemias had a son, 
Elagabalus, who became emperor in 218 and died in 
222. The mantle then passed to his cousin, Mamaea's 
son Alexander Severus (205-235), a lad of 13 at the 
time. Alexander, a studious, thoughtful boy, would 
prove a pliable statesman and shabby warrior. His 
reign cannot be fully understood without considering 
the power wielded by his mother, Julia Mamaea. It 
was she who governed the empire, advised by a cadre 
of councillors. 

Alexander's reign began as a joint regency between 
Mamaea and her mother, Julia Maesa. But when 
Maesa died in 226, Mamaea exerted her will more 
freely. Like CLEOPATRA had done before her, Mamaea 
carefully constructed her and her son's identity as 
Roman, not Syrian. She stifled the religious excesses 
of Elagabalus's rule and restored the Roman gods to 
their rightful temples. Religion in the third century 
was, and would continue to be, problematic for 
Roman rulers. The Christian message of individual 
freedom and the fervor of Christian martyrs were 
attracting converts and threatening the supremacy of 
the panoply of Rome's secular gods. 

Mamaea had witnessed the sexual indiscretions 
plaguing Elagabalus's reign, so she married Alexan- 



der, at age 16, to a respectable patrician's daughter, 
Sallustia Orbiana. Mamaea's good intentions got the 
better of her, however, because she soon grew jealous 
of the status conferred upon the emperor's young 
wife. Adding salt to the wound, Alexander elevated 
Orbiana's father to the level of Caesar. In 227, 
Orbiana and her father grew tired of Mamaea's 
piqued rages and vanished from Rome, seeking 
refuge with the praetorians, the empire's military 
bodyguards. Mamaea took this as an act of rebellion. 
She had Orbiana's father executed and banished her 
daughter-in-law to Africa. 

Meanwhile, the Roman legions, particularly those 
stationed on the frontiers of the empire, grew restless 
and insubordinate. Power was shifting within the 
Mediterranean area, and new challenges loomed just 
over the horizon. During the previous 300 years, 
Roman's primary enemy had been the Parthian 
Empire, consisting of present-day Iran and Persia, but 
the Parthians' power declined during the second 
century, and the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon (in 
present-day Iraq), had been sacked repeatedly by 
Rome. Septimus had even carved out a new Roman 
province from the Parthian territory of Mesopotamia. 
But in the third century, a new Parthian ruler, 
Ardashir I (died 240), aggressively sought new land 
himself by overturning the Roman acquisition of 
Mesopotamia. Ardashir captured the cities of Nisibis 
and Carrhae by 230. Only then did the reluctant war- 
rior Alexander begin to amass an army for an eastern 
campaign. His attempts were nearly foiled by a mutiny 
of Egyptian soldiers. It was a preview of coming events. 

In 232, Alexander finally drove his army into bat- 
tle at Palmyra and Hatra, and on to the Persian Gulf. 
The advance was only partly successful, as Alexander 
was forced to retreat to Antioch by the end of the 
summer to prevent further losses. When he returned 
to Rome in 235, he was accused of cowardice. At 
best, Alexander had stymied Persian acquisitiveness, 
at least for the time being. As soon as Alexander 
returned, however, the Germans threatened in the 
west, where they had breached the Rhine River and 
destroyed Roman farms and villages. Alexander 
quickly led his troops to the Rhine, where the fright- 
ened commander instituted a policy of offering the 



256 



RULERS 



enemy bribes to retreat, a practice abhorred by his 
troops, who despised Alexander's unwillingness to 
behave like a soldier. 

In Julius Maximinus (died 238), a Thracian sol- 
dier, the Roman legions found the leader they 
sought. In a dramatic move, they threw a purple 
imperial cloak over Maximinus's shoulders, declaring 
him to be emperor of Rome. Upon hearing the news 
of the rebellion, Alexander shrank into his mother's 
bosom in their camp at Vicus Britannicus (present- 
day Bretzenheim, Germany). A cadre of centurions 
burst into the royal tent, slaughtering both mother 
and son. The reign of the Julias of Rome met a 
bloody end. 

Further Reading 

Field, Michael. Julia Domna. New York: J. Lane, 1903. 

Grant, Michael. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical 
Guide to the Rulers of Imperial Rome, 31 B.C. to 476 
A.D. New York: Scribner's, 1985. 

Lightman, Marjorie, and Benjamin Lightman. Biographi- 
cal Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women. New 
York: Facts On File, 2000. 

Scarre, Christopher. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The 
Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. 
London: Thames and Hudson, 1995. 



A MANKILLER.WILMA (Wilma Pearl 
Mankiller) 

(1945- ) Cherokee chief 

The legacy of the 1838-39 Trail of Tears, in which 
more than 16,000 Cherokee were forced by the U.S. 
government's Indian Removal Act (1830) to leave 
their ancestral lands and relocate in Oklahoma, con- 
tinues to shape many Native Americans' lives. Dur- 
ing the 1 16-day forced march, about 4,000 Cherokee 
died from disease, malnutrition, or exhaustion. Chief 
Wilma Mankiller's great-grandfather traversed the 
Trail of Tears, and Mankiller describes her own per- 
sonal and political odyssey as a modern-day Trail of 
Tears. Born and raised in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, she 
experienced the U.S. government's relocation pro- 
gram in the 1950s, helped renew Native American 
activism in the 1960s and 1970s, and then returned 



home to Oklahoma to become the first woman 
deputy chief and first female principal chief in 
Cherokee and modern Native American history. 

By the 1950s, the U.S. government's policy 
toward its Native American population had reversed 
courses once again. In the early 20th century, the 
government had tried to "kill the Indian, save the 
man" by forcing Native American boys and girls to 
dress like European Americans and speak only En- 
glish. (Captain Richard Pratt of the Carlisle, Penn- 
sylvania, Indian School, 1879-1917, made the 
phrase famous.) In the 1930s, the government had 
given up assimilation policies in favor of tribal sov- 
ereignty, but after World War II (1939-45) federal 
policy-makers reversed gears again and pursued a 
program designed to encourage Native Americans 
to be like city-dwelling Euro-Americans. The 
Bureau of Indian Affairs produced hundreds of 
"relocation" propaganda posters, promising Ameri- 
can Indians jobs and happy homes in America's 
urban centers in exchange for leaving the reserva- 
tion. "Come to Denver," one poster invited, "The 
Chance of Your Lifetime!" The term relocation 
embraced several policies, including termination of 
tribal organizations, greater U.S. legal jurisdiction 
over tribal organizations, and relocation of Indian 
families fro